Purple Sea

  • Amel Alzakout, Khaled Abdulwahed
  • Germany
  • 2020
  • 67 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Paradocs

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.

All the while, the sun beats down mercilessly on the Mediterranean. There’s no horizon. No up and no down. Just the sea, and very little to cling onto. We watch this floating dance with death while time stands still.

Alzakout first planned to study journalism and become a war correspondent, an idea she later abandoned. But, as she explains in her thoughtful voice while guiding us through this utterly gripping experience, in Purple Sea she’s suddenly become one, and in an entirely unique way.

Credits

  • 67 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic
  • Subtitles in: English
Director
Amel Alzakout, Khaled Abdulwahed
Production
Alex Gerbaulet / pong film GmbH, Ines Meier / pong film GmbH
Cinematography
Amel Alzakout
Editing
Philip Scheffner
Sound Design
Simon Bastian

Share this film

Print this page

IDFA history

This website uses cookies.

By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

Read
 here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies