Creative Documentary by Khaled Jarrar / 80 mins / in Production
Written by Khaled Jarrar & Iris Pakulla
THE ENDLESS RETURN OF HISTORY
“The heat is intense and the desert has no shade, but you will arrive.”
Traumas are not only experienced individually but also shared in the womb of a family and transmitted emotionally and genetically throughout generations. War remains. In the cruelty of it, some resist by transcending cynicism and violence others succumb. “The heart is then replaced by a stone” and one seeks redemption or for a wisp of humanity that can melt it again. War erases hope, love, happiness and any other kind of feelings. Once you experience war and the consequences of it, you feel lost.
The stories you hear and the facts you witness while traveling through the Balkan Route (from Greece to Germany) appear most of the time as surreal, far-fetched, and so horrifying that you start feeling them in your body. The atrocities of war are contagious diseases. Once you are affected by them you will carry them in your soul the rest of your life and your memory will reproduce over and over the images of barbarism.
For me, there was no turning back on the road down to hell: the death road. I suffered, cried and felt the pain of restless nights without sleep and eat as the other refugees did. Soon enough I found myself reenacting the same horror my family had to go through in Palestine. Memories of my childhood enveloped me and I saw my grandmother Shafiqa again, as well as her home in Haifa, in front of the sea—the one she told me she had to leave behind with her poor belongings on her shoulders.
Massive displacements have characterized the 20th century, starting with the exodus of Jews through Austria to Palestine after the second world war. This was followed by the Nakba, in which the Palestinian population was expelled from their homes and forced to flee to Syria, Lebanon and other countries, marking the beginning of 68 years of constant displacement until the current migration crisis: millions of displacements within Syria and beyond. History is ceaseless in its perpetual circling in on itself. In the impulse of repetition, we—spectators, murderers or victims—participate in the endless loop of history, dangerously assuming stereotypes and roles and digesting a world ruled by propaganda. The images of the refugee crisis, which started in 2015, are spread all over the media, often portraying a fragmented and biased reality. In this film I will show the truth of displacement from another perspective, looking at it again by showing details and contradictions, from the very inside and from a personal point of view, full of heart and provocation.
DISPLECED IN HEAVEN sheds light on the human side of war by following Nadeera, a 76 year-old woman in her second displacement. During this journey, Nadeera became my grandmother and I became her grandson. By getting close to her and to the other refugees, I underline a painful reality, hence leaving a trace of our stories before we all sink into oblivion.
Supported by The Doha Film Institute and The Arab Fund For Arts and Culture
DocCorner Cannes 2018
Qumra Doha Film Institute 2018