EXCLUSIVE: Trailer for IDFA title Hamada
by Vladan Petkovic
- Screening in the First Appearance section, Spanish director Eloy Domínguez Serén's film is a portrait of a group of young friends in a refugee camp in the Sahara
Hamada [+see also:
film profile], the first feature-length documentary by Spanish director and Berlinale Talents alumnus Eloy Domínguez Serén (No Cow on the Ice [+see also:
film profile]), will have its world premiere in the First Appearance section of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) on 15 November. The film previously won the Head – Genève Postproduction Award and the Audience Engagement Award at the 2017 Pitching du Réel in Nyon.
Using vitality and humour, Hamada paints the unusual portrait of a group of young friends living in a refugee camp in the stony Sahara Desert. A minefield and the second-largest military wall in the world separate Sidahmed, Zaara and Taher from their homeland that they only know from their parents’ stories. They belong to the Sahrawis, one of the world’s most forgotten people, abandoned in a refugee camp in the middle of the desert ever since Morocco drove them out of Western Sahara 40 years ago.
The trio spend their days fixing cars, even though they can’t really take them anywhere, fighting for political change and dreaming of a future that most likely will never happen. Filled with all the expectations, strengths and illusions of being young, they all find different ways to expand beyond the physical borders that surround them.
The term hamada literally means “a desert terrain that consists of a flat and rocky area", mainly devoid of sand. But for the Sahrawi people, it can also be an expression for "emptiness" or "lifelessness”.
The director says: “Starting in 2014, I spent a total of eight months in the Tindouf Sahrawi refugee camps. Here I met the extraordinary people who became the protagonists of our film, which we developed in close cooperation with all of them. It became a platform for those in the camps to openly express themselves.
“Hamada is about youth, resistance and rebellion, portrayed through fragments of local youngsters’ lives. The people in this movie are in their twenties and feel stuck in this vast, barren desert, but they retain all the vitality, strength and desire that young people have. Trapped in a perpetual state of waiting, they rebel against immobility by continuing to move forward. I kept wondering: how do you invent or reinvent yourself every day in a place where nothing seems to happen, where nothing seems to move?"
Hamada was produced by David Herdies and Michael Krotkiewski for Momento Film (Sweden), in co-production with Heino Deckert for maja.de (Germany), and Kari Anne Moe and Gudmundur Gunnarsson for Fuglene (Norway). The film is supported by the Swedish Film Institute, which also handles the international festival distribution, the Norwegian Film Institute and Fritt Ord. The international sales are handled by Germany's Deckert Distribution.
Check out our exclusive trailer below:
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