A festival favourite with critics and audiences in 2013 - and winner of Best Film at Edinburgh - 'A World Not Ours' is an intimate, humorous portrait of three generations in exile in the refugee camp of Ein el-Helweh in southern Lebanon. Based on a wealth of personal recordings, family archives, and historical footage, the film is a sensitive and illuminating study of belonging, friendship and family.
- A World Not Ours review by DF
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You rated this film: 3
An interesting film with an insight into the plight of Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon and now into three or four generations. The film is mostly made up of home style video clips interspersed with some historical footage. As with any reference to Palestine, there are political issues involved. The refugees lived in a town that was more or less sealed off from the outside world. The 'town' consists of alleyways and .mostly makeshift concrete buildings - some very basic and others more substantial. Apparently the population are not allowed to work outside the town and as most of the population don't have citizenship, hence no passports. Mahdi the London based director visits the camp regularly to see his family members who still live there along with meeting various of his friends. Mahdi keeps the camera rolling at every opportunity which allows intimate interaction with assorted people including his very grumpy granddad. Although the movie 'blurb' talks of a 'humorous' portrait of life, that description did not occur to me. With very little to look forward to, the younger menfolk seem to idle away their time whilst the elders looked to the past; all a sad a pitiful reflection on refugee life. The close connection between Mahdi and his movie 'subjects' also raises the question as to how far can such movie-making actually affect personal outcomes for those being filmed and influenced by an 'outsider'? There is one pertinent case of this in the movie (the man who goes to Athens). A worthwhile movie, showing the plight of Palestinian refugees and the hopeless intractability of politics. But, for me, there is a niggling worry about how such a movie might have unintended consequences for those folk interacting in a very personal way with the director.