Saeed Taji Farouky / Short Narrative / UK / 2018 / 20min / Dialogue: English, Arabic / Subtitles: Arabic, English
Cast: Mohammad Bakri, Daniela Balazova, Jamie Zubairi, Philip Arditti
A film about memories, guilt and resilience. Inspired by the writing of Mourid Barghouti and the director's personal and family experiences, ‘Strange Cities Are Familiar’ tells the story of Ashraf, a Palestinian father living in the UK, struggling to confront the memories that haunt him: the promises he couldn’t keep; the family he couldn’t protect.
About the filmmaker: Saeed Taji Farouky is a Palestinian-Egyptian-British filmmaker who has been producing work around themes of conflict, human rights, and colonialism since 1998. In 2011 he was selected to be a TED Senior Fellow, and has been previously named Artist-in-Residence at Tate Britain and The British Museum. His latest feature documentary, Tell Spring Not to Come This Year, premiered at the Berlinale 2015 where it won the Audience Choice Panorama award and the Amnesty Human Rights Award. His films focus on exile and the lingering trauma of conflict. He tells intimate, personal stories with an emphasis on humanism, and its mirror image: surrealism. Strange Cities Are Familiar is his second fiction film.