Ahmed Shawer, the correspondent of Palestine TV in Qalqiliya, moves from a news report into short documentary film of 16 minutes in duration. 16 minutes during which the heart of Fida, the mother, pounds with thousands beats. 16 minutes during which the camera of Ahmed Shawer moves from one door to another in a hope to discuss an issue that has contradicting views. It is the ordeal of a mother whose children, Farouq and Haroun, have been away from her for 7 years. The film turned into a gate between love and hate; loneliness and being together; and nearness and distance.
If the film doesn't press charges or take sides in the dispute of a mother and her husband, it indeed stands as an advocate of the right of a mother whose husband unlawfully took the custody of her two children and kept them with him in Gaza.
How the ordeal originated
16 minutes of the film reminds us that Palestine is divided and the dispute between Fatah and Hamas is similar to the one of Fida and her husband. It also states that the dispute isn't only ideological, but is also pure colonial.
|Justice is hard to prevail in a torn-apart homeland as long as the mother feels like a stranger in her own homeland. This is because Fida didn't know her wedding in Gaza would be a separation experience|
The identification of Fida and her husband and the Fatah-Hamas relationship can't be ignored. It looks as the political disunity is the main objective of the director more than the separation of the mother from her boys.
The film takes off with the profound and resonating voice of Reem Al Banna singing, "O what a long night" affirming from the first minute the darkness that Fida is living.
The voice of the singer entwines with a news bulletin coming from a radio in the kitchen in which Hamas and Fatah are blaming each other for the collapse of the unity government. This makes us think that we are in the heart of an issue between two political factions.
However, when the camera depicts Fida preparing a cake and commenting on the news, we come to understand that the subject is about disengagement between the popular base and the political entities.
Gates and hearts
The film moves between the government corridors and the dossiers, and Fida takes us from one door to another. Since doors have always been open in the film, are the hearts of office workers equally open? If heaven is attained through mothers, how many more years will Fida suffer from the agony of this separation?
Fida is a symbolic name that bears the sacrifice and the pain of Palestinian mothers. This mother isn't talking about the reasons behind her divorce; rather, she is conducting shuttle visits between government offices in Qalqilya, confirming the difficulty of reaching a solution in the best interest of the boys.
The children, on the other hand, aren't in need of such disputes that break their heart before the ongoing occupation.
The images of Farouq and Haroun in Fida's computer take us into a personal documentary film. The dramatic scene doesn't lie only in the sorrow and the tears of the mother, but also in the fact that she is holding the images of her children in the computer rather than holding them between her arms.
Yet, how would Fida get out of this ordeal? How would she begin a new chapter with her children?
Issues like being a stranger within home country, in a love relationship, or away from children are heart-breaking incidents and tranquility is hard to settle in the heart afterwards. Heart- related agonies are hard to heal and the treatment is so dear, according to the singer. However, the dream is also dear, the passion of Farouq to the beach of Gaza is dear too, and the dream of the mother to see the smile of her boys is dearer than anything else.
Justice is hard to prevail in a torn-apart homeland as long as the mother feels like a stranger in her own homeland. This is because Fida didn't know her wedding in Gaza would be a separation experience, and her children birthdays' will be hard on her.
|16 minutes of the film reminds us that Palestine is divided and the dispute between Fatah and Hamas is similar to the one of Fida and her husband|
The film lies between the short feature and affirmative news report. When Fida was depicted on a swing in a park, the director wants to confirm the absence of limbo between heaven and hell.
Ahmed Shawer resorts to sound effects in a bid to lessen the agony of the mother. Yet this common choice of dramas may not serve the documentary film. This is because Fida is fighting her cause single-handedly, and her resistance symbolizes the Palestinian resistance and the resistance of all mothers worldwide, and because she is an example of everlasting love that doesn't fade away with time.
The singer, Reem Al Banna, concludes the epic of Fida with a voice from the heart of Qalqilya calling upon millions of Palestinian refugees outside their homeland. We are before a double-sided story; the story of Reem, Fida, Shawer, the reader and my story. I then recall the poet who said, "You are flogging a dead horse".