A World Not Ours

Aalam laysa lana

  • Mahdi Fleifel
  • United Kingdom, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Denmark
  • 2012
  • 93 min
  • Shifting Perspectives: The Arab World

Having inherited his father's camera addiction means Mahdi Fleifel could draw from a wealth of material for his documentary about life in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon. He combines his father’s home movies with his own material, shot over many years during visits to the camp where he was born and raised, before moving to Dubai and later to Europe. In this often light and always touching video diary, he introduces us to the place and the people he's still attached to. Among them is his 82-year-old grandfather, and a cousin who talks about his disillusionment with the lack of prospects for Palestine. The dreams of the homeland may have faded with the generations, but—apart from temporary alliances exhibited during the World Cup—there's no other nation to which they can belong. Central to Fleifel's bittersweet story is his friendship with Abu Iyad, with whom he not only discusses politics and soccer, but also what separates them: the fact that Fleifel can leave the camp and Abu Iyad cannot.


  • 93 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic, English
  • Subtitles in: English
Mahdi Fleifel
Patrick Campbell for Nakba Filmworks
Mahdi Fleifel
Michael Aaglund
Sound Design
Zhe Wu

IDFA history

Shifting Perspectives: The Arab World

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