As If We Were Catching a Cobra

Hala Alabdalla, United Arab Emirates / Syria / France, 2012, color, HDcam, 122'
Synopsis

Inspired by events surrounding the Danish Mohammed cartoons, Syrian filmmaker Hala Alabdalla interviews political cartoonists in Egypt and Syria about the tension caused by their work. What starts as a documentary about cartoons in the Middle East takes another turn when the Arab Spring arrives in both countries. From her studio in Paris, Alabdalla makes additional comments on the events in voice-over. The cartoonists talk at length about the tradition of political illustrations, their battle with censorship and their struggles to keep irony and rebellion alive under authoritarian regimes. After the protests, the director gets in touch with them again, asking them in what way the revolution has influenced their lives and work. Some of them actively participated in the protests and didn't come away unscathed. They reflect on their fears, the dangers of the uprising and the euphoria that came with the sudden freedom of expression. The interviews are combined with personal scenes of Alabdalla as she follows the revolution through social media, on her computer screen back in Paris.

IDFA Forum Selection 2014 October 14, 2014 | The complete list of projects selected for IDFA Forum 2014 has been announced.
Film List 2014 October 10, 2014 | The complete list of selected films for IDFA 2014, in alphabetical order, is now online.
Framing Reality October 7, 2014 | Hybrid film will get a special focus in the Framing Reality program during IDFA 2014. The program, a continuation of 2013's Based on the Same Story, presents ten films in which real people play themselves on camera.
Wanted: Youth Jury! September 30, 2014 | Every year, a selection of films from the IDFA program compete for the IDFA DOC U Award, given out by a youth jury. Do you want to have a say about the winner, and are you between 15 and 18 years old? Then apply now!
IDFA 2014 presents theme program Of Media and Men September 23, 2014 | A theme program investigating the mediated interaction between the people and their governments will be presented at IDFA 2014. Of Media and Men encompasses a film program, several new media projects in IDFA DocLab and a Paradocs program curated by visual artist Aernout Mik.
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.

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