Recycle (Ee‘adat Khalk)

What makes a terrorist? In Zarqa, Jordan’s second largest city with a population of nearly one million, it is a much-debated question. Zarqa’s political Islamists are a powerful force in this industrial center, and Zarqa was the birthplace of Abu Musa al Zarqawi, a brutal Al Qaeda leader in Mesopotamia before being killed by American forces in 2005. Al Zarqawi was well-known in the city and many of his family members remain, making Zarqawi a continual source of new recruits to the Jihadist cause. Inspired by his reporting on al Zarqawi and Al Quaeda for international news agencies, filmmaker al Massad returned to Zarqa, where he grew up, to make Recycle. With ravishing cinematography that belies the unforgiving landscape, Jordanian-Palestinian filmmaker Mahmoud al Massad charts the daily life of a religious Islamic man trying to survive in one of Zarqa’s poorest neighborhoods. In a deceptively calm manner, the film slowly unravels the hidden agents of terrorism: poverty, humiliation, lack of opportunity and religious doctrine define the daily rhythms of a man and his family, all against the backdrop of an era when jihad that spans the globe. Unlike what is insinuated by the daily bombardment of dramatic headlines about Islam and the war on terror, Recycle suggests that evil acts can emerge from the most ordinary of circumstances.

World premiere
Dubai International Film Festival 2007, Muhr Awards, Official Competition for Documentaries

Rights sold to
Germany, Poland

Cinema in Motion Award, San Sebastián International Film Festival Work in Progress 2007
World Cinema Cinematography Award, Documentary – Sundance Film Festival 2008
Special Mention – Planete Doc Review, Warsaw Documentary FilmFestival 2008

Dubai International Film Festival 2007
Sundance Film Festival 2008
International Film Festival Rotterdam 2008
Fribourg Film Festival 2008
Guadalajara International Film Festival 2008
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2008
San Francisco International Film Festival 2008
Yerevan International Film Festival 2008
Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival 2008
Vienna International Film Festival 2008
Ayam Beirut Al Cinema'iya (Les Journées Cinématographiques de Beyrouth) 2008

Jordan 2007
Director: Mahmoud Al Massad
Producers: iSee Film (Jordan, Netherlands), mec film (Germany), Jo Film (Jordan)
German WCF partner and distributor: mec film
World sales: Wide Management (France)

Supported during the WCF jury session in November 2006 and in June 2008
Production Funding: 30,000 €
Distribution Funding 10,000 €