Saw two films – one about older people, one about children. One with Bari in Italy as location, one taking place in a quarter in Damascus. ”Housing” by Federica di Giacomo is a film about people, who – as said on the site of the production company – “become prisoners in their home” while waiting to be resettled in a new home. They have fear of being attacked by squatters, they complain about the neighbours – and many totally absurd situations come out of these situations. A woman adores her mayor – and hates Berlusconi – and complains about the neighbour moving her furniture around. Another has a dressed-up kind of scarecrow named Rocco sitting in an armchair in order to make outsiders (thieves, squatters) believe that someone is at home…. And several other non-mainstream characters are described with warmth and empathy, allowing you to have a laugh at the same time as you are watching social outsiders in trouble.
Nidal Debs, awarded Syrian feature film director, educated at VGIK in Moscow, presented his first documentary “Black Stone” (PHOTO), that is a shocking look at a group of children who collect scrap metals to earn a little money – and support their families. The children have a wonderful energy even if they have been subject to abuse and violence in their families. The film suffers from weak cinematographical quality and shaky editing. Too many words, simply, not time for breathing, emotions and reflection. But as a document second-to-none about a Syrian reality of today.
Italy, 90 mins, 2009
Syria, 63 mins, 2006