“I see everything,” she says, as if it were a curse. Brilliant sunshine, clear blue skies. The sea is calm, framed by a piece of railing. Buzzing voices. A peaceful moment if it weren’t for the fact that the sea is standing upright, vertical, like a waterfall. A rush of images, twirling, upside down, jolting. People in the boat, in the water, screams, life jackets, emergency whistles. Fluorescent orange, geometrical shapes cast by the sun. There’s no horizon any more, no sky, no up or down, only deepness and nothing to hold on to.
In 2015, Syrian artist Amel Alzakout took the bold decision to make the crossing to Europe with a people smuggler. Just before reaching the coast of Lesbos, the overcrowded boat started sinking. The entire film is comprised of dizzying footage as Alzakout shoots from the water. In nearly abstract close-ups of people in the water waiting to be rescued, we can just barely make out fluorescent orange life jackets, dangling legs, tiny feet in white sneakers, a bobbing pack of cigarettes, life preservers. We hear emergency whistles and screams.
Live performance by Shaza Hayek and ensemble
After the screening, the talented singer Shaza Hayek will perform for us with her ensemble. Shaza Hayek was born in 1983 in Salmiya, Syria. She graduated from the Damascus Conservatory of Music in Arabic classical music and Western classical music. Shaza performed both in Syria and other Arab countries and since last year also in the Netherlands with small ensembles and large orchestras.
This screening is part of Cineforum Festival, taking place on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of September.