Danish director Mahdi Fleifel presents the life of three generations in Ain al-Hilweh, the Palestinian refugee camp in south Lebanon where he grew up. More than 70,000 people have lived there for over 60 years in one square kilometre. The director also includes video footage shot by his father in the 80s and 90s. His family and friends and their everyday conflicts are portrayed with delicacy and humour. Meanwhile, archive material helps provide political background for this cinematic diary that adopts an unusual approach that is far from heavy in spite of its topic, as can be seen in the filmmaker's father repeatedly looking at his recording of Arafat's handshake with Rabin in Washington. The film also tells the story of Mahdi Fleifel's long-time friend Abu Eyad. The two men share a passion for Palestinian politics, melancholic music and football. During the football world cup, the Palestinians watch the matches on a TV in a sports shop. For a few weeks, they become Brazilians, Germans or Italians. But whereas Fleifel may enter and leave the camp as he pleases, Abu Eyad is left only with his decision to escape.
by Mahdi Fleifel
Lebanon / United Kingdom / Denmark 2012