Berlinale: Programme

Panorama Dokumente

Istiyad Ashbah

Ghost Hunting

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Director Raed Andoni places a newspaper advertisement in Ramallah. He is looking for former inmates of the Moskobiya interrogation centre in Jerusalem. In his ad he asks that the men should also have experience as craftsmen, architects or actors. After a casting process that almost feels like role play, he arranges for a replica of the centre’s interrogation rooms and cells to be built to scale inside a hall – under close supervision from the former inmates and based on their memories. In this realistic setting the men subsequently re-enact their interrogations, discuss details about the prison, and express the humiliation they experienced during their detention. Using techniques that are reminiscent of the so-called ‘theatre of the oppressed’ they work together to dramatise their real-life experiences. Their reconstruction brings long repressed emotions and undealt with trauma to the fore. Working on the film takes its toll on the men – both physically and mentally. The director also appears in front of the camera; not only is he creating a stage for his protagonists, he is also coming to terms with his own fragmented memories of imprisonment in Moskobiya thirty years previously.

Raed Andoni

France / Palestine / Switzerland / Qatar 2017

Arabic, English

Documentary form
94 min · Colour


Ramzi Maqdisi (Abu Atta)
Mohammed "Abu Atta" Khattab (himself)
Raed Andoni (the director)
Atef Al-Akhras (the set dresser)
Wadee Hanani (the assistant director)
Adnan Al-Hatab (the "father" and set builder)
Abdallah Moubarak (the blacksmith)
Anbar Ghannan (the groom and poet)
Raed Khattab (the cheerful prisoner)
Monther Jawabreh (the visual artist)


Written and directed by
Raed Andoni
Director of Photography
Camille Cottagnoud
Gladys Joujou
Sound Design
Nicolas Becker
Olivier Claude
Production Design
Dominique Treibert
Assistant Director
Wadee Hanani
Production Manager
Bassem Jerbawi
Palmyre Badinier
Nicolas Wadimoff, Philippe Coeytaux, Raed Andoni
Akka Films, Bernex
Dar Films, Ramallah


Raed Andoni

Born in Amman, Jordan in 1967, he is a Palestinian director and producer who began his career in the film industry in 1997 as an independent producer. He is co-founder of Dar Films production company in Ramallah and Les Films de Zayna in Paris. His debut feature-length documentary Fix Me screened at both the Sundance Film Festival and at Cannes.

Filmography (documentaries)

2008 Improvisation 2009 Fix Me 2017 Istiyad Ashbah (Ghost Hunting)

Produced by

Les Films de Zayna
Montreuil, France
+33 6 277974

World sales

Montreuil, France
+33 1 48704656