Mahdi Fleifel: A World not Ours

The Magnificent 7 directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic write about the film: From the moment of it’s appearance, this film and it’s young author received great accolades: a world premiere at the Berlinale, top prizes at leading cinema festivals including Edinburgh, Yamagata and New York and two awards for the leading young talent at Copenhagen Docs and the Nordisk Panorama within the section of “New Nordic Voices”.

Mahdi Fleifel brilliantly interweaves archival images with subjectively filmed material, creating a unique chronicle that manages to highlight the warmth of it’s main protagonists and the liveliness of daily events. Diverse video recordings of events, small and big, over a period of over 20 years are basis for a complexly composed film. This chronicle is an exlusive entry into a space which foreigners are strictly barred from, and so represents a valuable window into previously unseen life inside of one of the largest Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

Enchantingly humorous, full of life and indeliblly captured moments, this documentary carries a unique atmosphere and a delicate narrative line, revealing in a surprising light the space and people whose life is stamped with collective tragedy and trauma. In the collision of entertaining and melancholy, the surreal and the absurd, “A World Not Ours” is a testimony to a forgotten dark corner of the world, but also a vindication of life and joy.

A documentary of masterful narration, deeply honest, marked by the personal engagement of it’s maker and a rare artistic achievement – the breaking down of a wall of prejudice and ideologically colored stories about the fate of a people.

UK, Denmark, Lebanon, 2012, 93 mins.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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