|Producer||Maria Thalia Carras, Olga Hatzidaki - Locus Athens; Didem Pekun|
|Sound||Theofilos Botonakis; Fatih Ragbet, Eli Haligua|
|Country||Greece, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Section||Documentaries Open Debates / Visual Art through Cinema|
|Screening||Sunday 10 November | 10:45 hours | Filmhuis Den Haag|
A poetic and haunting elegy of displacement shot in Bosnia by the Turkish director and film scholar. The film premiered at Berlinale and won the Human Rights Award at Sarajevo Film Festival.
A’raf – a Turkish word for limbo or purgatory – symbolises the borderland between heaven and hell for those who are, from incapacity, neither morally bad nor good, according to Qur’an. In this very special essayistic road movie, we follow a diary of Nayia, a ghostly character who travels between Srebrenica, Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has been in exile since the war and returns for the memorial of the Srebrenica genocide. Her diary notes merge with the myth of Daedalus and Icarus – Icarus being the name given to the winner of a bridge-diving competition in her home country. This years-old tradition in Mostar appears as a central motif of the film. The carefully chosen visual style with black and white photography remarkably emphasises the emotional state and grief of people at the Srebrenica Memorial.
I was in a trance when I was making this film, or perhaps in a nightmare I was unable to snap out of. Everything fell into place in that manner, in the sense of how the team came together, how the production materialized out of a series of what almost looked like impossibilities…The film is also an elegy in slow motion; an elegy of an event that the world fast-forwarded. I wanted to rewind and replay and really look to see through the commemoration, because commemoration is an act of protest against this repulsive phenomenon of genocide and the desire to erase a people from history.
Festivals & Awards (selection)
Berlin International Film Festival 2018 – Forum Expanded | Istanbul Film Festival 2018 | Sarajevo Film Festival 2018 – Human Rights Award | SIYAD Turkish Film Critics Association Award nominee, 2018