Silvered Water and Santiago
How Does The World Breathe Now?
Session N°27 07.06.2017 19:30
With Diana el Jeroudi
At Archive Kabinett 133 Müllerstrasse, 13349 Berlin
Film Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait 2014 110 min
By O. Mohammed W.S. Bedirxan
Language N/A with English Subtitles
Film Santiago 2007 80 min
By João Moreira Salles
Language N/A with English Subtitles
Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait
In Syria, everyday, YouTubers film then die; others kill then film. In Paris, driven by my inexhaustible love for Syria, I find that I can only film the sky and edit the footage posted on YouTube. From within the tension between my estrangement in France and the revolution, an encounter happened. A young Kurdish from Homs began to chat with me, asking: ‘If your camera were here, in Homs, what would you be filming?.’
Silvered Water is the story of this encounter. Directed by O. Mohammed and W.S. Bedirxan, Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait premiered at Séance Spéciale Cannes Film Festival 2014 and later awarded the Grierson Award at BFI, before it was later released in cinemas in France and listed 3rd among the Top-10 films 2014 according to a survey of French press.
Thirteen years ago, when I shot these images, I thought the film would begin like this. I immediately knew that this was a film not simply about Santiago–the family’s butler–but about failure, about seeing and about documentary filmmaking.
In 1992, the filmmaker, João Moreira Salles, shot nine hours of footage, but aborted the project on the cutting room table. When Salles returns to the footage thirteen years later, he does not return to finish the film he never completed, but to make a different film–a film that looks at his own blindness, how his desire to make a film obstructed his ability to see. Directed by João Moreira Salles Awarded the Grand Prize at Vision Du Reel in 2007.
Diana el Jeroudi *1977 Damascus is a Syrian film director and producer who lives in Berlin since 2013. Diana made several documentaries (THE POT premiered in Yamagata 2005, Dolls: A Woman from Damascus premiered in IDFA 2007 and co-directed Morning Fears, Night Chants premiered in IDFA 2012). Her films were well received by critics, screened internationally in festivals in over 60 countries and by a number of international broadcasters and shown in art events and venues. As a producer, she realised several internationally acclaimed documentaries, among which is the Grierson Awarded film Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait which premiered in the Séance Spéciale at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and The Mulberry House by Oscar-nominated director Sara Ishaq which premiered in IDFA 2013. Shortly after moving to Berlin, Diana co-founded the film production company NO NATION FILMS where she continues making author-driven documentary films from Syria and beyond. In addition, she co-founded a non-profit association to support documentary filmmaking in the Arab world DOX BOX e.V. as heir to the pioneering DOX BOX festival she co-founded originally in Syria. Diana’s overall work and activism has earned her international recognition including the European Documentary Network Award and the Catherine Kartlidge Award. She has been repeatedly seated as a juror and panelist at film festivals and funds, among which most distinctively as a juror at the Cannes Film Festival's first documentary film competition “L’OEil d’or.” Diana is a BA graduate of Arts & Humanity in Damascus, and has been trained as a producer at INA/Sorbonne program AFIC, and is a member of the Deutsche Filmakademie.