A WORLD NOT OURS
A FILM BY MAHDI FLEIFEL
2012, 93 minutes
Dienstag, 28. Oktober 2014, 19 Uhr
Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Wien
A World Not Ours hits notes on a wide emotional scale, from tears to laughter, as filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel makes us feel for his family, friends, and home as strongly as if they were our own. His themes are universal, yet they are also rooted in a specific place: the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el- Helweh in Lebanon. The camp’s name translates as “Sweet Spring” – a place hastily built in 1948 that now houses 70,000 refugees in one square kilometer. Fleifel spent his formative years in the camp in the 1980s before his family settled in Denmark. For years, he’s been returning and keeping a video diary. At the heart of the film is Fleifel’s relationship with his friend Abu Eyad. They share an obsession with World Cup football and Palestinian politics, but Fleifel comes and goes while Abu Eyad stays in the camp. As we eavesdrop on Fleifel’s conversations with the camp residents, we hear an unfiltered take on life there and their grievances with their own political leaders, Lebanon, and Israel.
An estimated 300,000 Palestinian refugees live in Lebanon in appalling social and economic conditions. Despite a labor law amendment in 2010 that was supposed to ease access for Palestinians to the official labor market, a survey released by the International Labour Organization in 2012 found that only 2 percent of Palestinians have obtained work permits, that most earn less than the minimum wage, and that those who do find employment are paid 20% less than their Lebanese counterparts. Lebanese laws and decrees still bar Palestinians from working in at least 25 professions requiring syndicate membership, including law, medicine and engineering. Palestinians are also still subject to a 2001 discriminatory law that prevents them from registering property. (Human Rights Film Festival)