Reem Al-Ghazzi's film screening

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    Still from the movie "Iphigenia", dir. Reem Al-Ghazzi

The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, together with the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, cordially invites the public to attend a presentation of Reem Al-Ghazzi’s film project "Iphigenia".

Reem Al-Ghazzi is the first winner of a grant for Syrian film artists realized by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and financed by the City of Warsaw and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture.

Since June Reem Al-Ghazzi has worked with film editor Maciej Walentowski and a team of collaborators on editing her film Iphigenia. During this time there have been a number of consultations on the narrative structure of the film and technical aspects of production, with Polish and international filmmakers and experts.

"Iphigenia" is a feature-length documentary tracing the fortunes of Syrian refugees receiving asylum in Germany. Nine women with varying life stories, from different social origins, seeking shelter not only from the war but also from the restrictions imposed on them by Syrian society, meet on the stage of the Volksbühne theatre in Berlin, where they will present a contemporary adaptation of Euripides’ Iphigenia by playwright Mohammad Al Attar, directed by Omar Abusaada. As the film director got to know the team of amateur actresses, she could record not only the premiere of Iphigenia but also the discussions during the rehearsals, the preparations for the show, and the everyday life of her subjects outside the theatre. As the amateur acting team integrate, they realize that the pain and threat of death they fled remains with them. Can they free themselves from the past, family, society, and ultimately themselves?

The screening of the excerpts from the movie (20 min.) will be followed by a discussion with the director, led by Małgorzata Sadowska (New Horizons).

Reem Al-Ghazzi is a documentary filmmaker residing in Damascus. She has directed and produced several documentary shorts, individually and in collectives. Her films have been shown at Cinéma du Réel in Paris and the Locarno Festival, and have won awards at the international film festivals in Casablanca and Alexandria. Al-Ghazzi is the founder of a series of film workshops, which she led for over a decade throughout Syria. Iphigenia, produced by Ramzy Haddad and Rosie Garthwaite, will be her first feature-length film.

Małgorzata Sadowska is a programmer for the New Horizons festival in Wrocław, film journalist and critic, and winner of the Polish Film Institute award for film criticism in 2015. She writes for the Polish edition of Newsweek and for many years ran the film blog Widzi mi się on the Canal+ website. She is the author of a book on Fred Kelemen and co-author of a book on Krzysztof Zanussi as well as Polish Cinema Now! Focus on Contemporary Polish Cinema and Chełmska 21. She has led workshops for young critics at the Polish Institute in Berlin, workshops for volunteers at the Watch Docs festival, and classes with students at Béla Tarr’s Film Factory school in Sarajevo.

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