Yasmin Fedda: Ayouni

Skrevet den 30-03-2020 10:22:51 af Tue Steen Müller

Yasmin Fedda: Ayouni

First the short synopsis of the film, explaining the title and introducing…”Noura and Machi (who) search for answers about their loved ones – Bassel Safadi and Paolo Dall’Oglio, who are among the over 100,000 forcibly disappeared in Syria. Faced with the limbo of an overwhelming absence of information, hope is the only thing they have to hold on to. ‘Ayouni’ is a deeply resonant Arabic term of endearment – meaning ‘my eyes’ and understood as ‘my love’. Filmed over 6 years and across multiple countries in search of answers, Ayouni is an attempt to give numbers faces, to give silence a voice, and to make the invisible undeniably visible…”

… take a look at the photo above: Happiness. Noura and Bassel. A couple in 


love. Later you see a video from their engagement party and you hear about the actions taken by the two activists to draw attention to the Syrian regime and its brutalities. Contacts to the media. Together with a BBC journalist we – the audience – watch people being beaten up in the streets. Unbearable footage. 

A quarter of an hour into the film, the location shifts to a mountain area, to the beautiful Mar Musa monastery, not far from Damascus to introduce the priest Paolo Dall’Oglio… let me quote the director Yasmin Fedda from the press material:

„This started as another film. A film about a priest I knew in Syria – Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, who had set up a well known monastic community that focused on interfaith dialogue. In 2011, he became involved in the Syrian revolution and passionately called for the world to respond to the atrocities happening in the country, to support human rights. He was expelled from Syria, his home of over 30 years. He was loved by so many Syrians. I met and filmed him in Paris shortly after he had left Syria. We spoke about the situation, his position, his take on things. I didn’t think it would be the last time I saw him, but I knew he was committed to what he believed in, whatever the cost. A couple of months later, in July 2013, he had gone to Raqqa (briefly liberated, before its total takeover by Daesh) to negotiate for the release of journalists kidnapped in the city. He leaves for the meeting and is never heard from again – kidnapped, with only rumours about his fate. Forcibly disappeared… »

What a wonderful man and how beautiful it is to see how his sister and his Italian family start to make videos to put online, to get the fate of the respected Roman Jesuit priest known. 

The sister Machi also joins the London double decker bus that is „decorated“ with photos of just some of the tens of thousands of Syrians, who have been forcibly disappeared during the revolution in the country.

The main focus, however, is on Noura Ghazi Safadi. It hurts to see her change during the years of waiting for news about her husband – from 2015. Noura is a human rights lawyer and activist and « one of the establishing members of Families for Freedom, a Syrian women led advocacy group for detainees and their relatives ».

I take a look at the photo above again. And remember it when I see Noura talking to cameras in front of the double decker that also went to Paris. Or in studios. Or at the end of the film after she had got the news that Bassel had been executed. 

Needless to say that this documentary is emotional to watch, at the same time as it is a documentation of the campaigns performed by human rights activists, the protests, the videos distributed, the compassion from many but not many enough. Respect!

UK, 2020, 75 mins.

Tilføjet i kategorierne: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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