An Unusual Summer (2020)

Origin: Palestine | Documentary | Director: Kamal Aljafari | 80 minutes

A street corner in the Palestinian district of Ramla, in Israel. Neighbours going to work; children playing; mothers doing the shopping; at night, a man running past; a boy throwing a stone. Further away, a garden and a busy road. All this was recorded by the security camera Kamal Aljafari’s father installed in 2006, in the hope of catching the vandal who kept on damaging his car.

After his father’s passing, Aljafari finds the footage. He uses it as the raw material for this idiosyncratically edited and manipulated impression with fitting musical accents, a touch of dry humour and succinct intertitles. Such as: “Abu Rizeq, what’s he doing so early in the morning?” Or: “A man is in love with my sister.” Sometimes, a child – the director’s niece – gives a commentary in voice-over. Finally, a text full of highly personal memories puts it all into context – also politically. The result is a sober, poetic homage to this neighbourhood, dismissively referred to by Israel as ‘the ghetto’. An artistic act of resistance against eradication. (description from iffr 2021)

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