Paper short abstract:
A World Not Ours is an intimate, humorous, portrait of three generations in exile in the refugee camp of Ain el-Helweh, in southern Lebanon.
Paper long abstract:
Director: Mahdi Fleifel
Languages: English, Arabic
Duration: 87 mins
Filmmakers: Mahdi Fleifel, Patrick Campbell
Ain el-Helweh (literally “Sweet Spring”), set up in 1948, is the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon with more than 70,000 people. During the first few years of the camp’s existence, its residents made a point of not building anything resembling a permanent structure, because to do so would have been an admission that there was a chance they were not returning home.
Over time, assigned plots of land were divided as sons and daughters got married and had children. Young families began building their homes on top of their relatives’ houses, creating a warren of twisting alleyways that only those who live there are able to navigate. It is an island of Palestine surrounded by Lebanese army checkpoints. Inside, the Fatah faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (P.L.O.) controls security and gives residents small stipends.
A World Not Ours is an intimate, humorous, portrait of three generations in exile in the refugee camp of Ain el-Helweh. Based on a wealth of personal recordings, family archives, and historical footage, the film is a sensitive and illuminating study of belonging, friendship, and family. Filmed over more than 20 years by multiple generations of the same family, the film is more than just a family portrait; it is an attempt to record what is being forgotten, and mark what should not be erased from collective memory.
Audiovisual media programme