14th DMZ Docs(2022)
I AM DOCU
Abbas Fahdel, director of Homeland: Iraq Year Zero lives in a house in the South of Lebanon with his wife, the painter Nour Ballouk. From their 'Purple House', the two begin to explore the reality of Lebanon, which seems to be on the edge of the abyss. The director and painter, who look at the multifaceted daily life of a complex society from their own perspective, capture the hope and pain that coexist in Lebanon. The result is a heavy reflection on art and society.
A new film directed by Abbas Fahdel, who won the grand prize at the 7th DMZ Docs for Homeland (Iraq Year Zero. Tracing the activities, thoughts, and daily routines of director Fahdel's wife and visual artist Nour Ballouk, it deals with the classic theme of "Can art save the world?". The film consists of various series of images ranging from a personal record of an artist couple that conveys the reality of life, the daily life of neighbors unaffected by the flow of the outside world, the political situation in Lebanon, cats wandering around the purple house, children of life unrelated to the troubled world, and the artist's self-consciousness looking at the world's suffering. The formal core motif of this reflective documentary is the multiple instances of the frame. The frame of the camera filming documentary, the frame of the canvas of the painter Nour, and the frame of the monitor where TV news and movies are screened form a multi-layered context. The film reflects a firm belief in the power of images in images overflowing with life and death, hopes and sorrows.
Abbas Fahdel was born in Babylon, Iraq. After studying cinema in France, he shot three documentaries in Iraq, including the monumental Homeland: Iraq Year Zero(2015), awarded at numerous festivals. Settled in Lebanon since 2017, he shot there his second work of fictionYara(2018).