Zaatari Djinn

  • Catherine van Campen
  • Netherlands
  • 2016
  • 91 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary
Zaatari is a refugee camp in Jordan, close to the Syrian border, which over the years has grown to become a settlement with a population of 80,000. It is an improvised city in the desert, with prefab units instead of proper housing and sandy paths instead of streets. The thousands of children who live there have few possessions; a soccer ball is a luxury, a second-hand bike a treasure. In Zaatari Djinn, Catherine van Campen follows four children who each cope with the camp’s difficult circumstances in their own way. The dreamy Maryam keeps herself occupied with soccer practice and theater rehearsals, while Hammoudi hardly seems aware of the tragic situation in his hometown in Syria. The same cannot be said of the downcast Ferras, who has to work for a living, or rebellious Fatma, who makes friends with a rooster. Stories about djinns – supernatural beings that can be either good or evil – are a leitmotif in the film. With her poetic, observational style, Van Campen not only documents the children’s daily lives, but also lays bare their souls.


  • 91 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic
  • Subtitles in: English
Catherine van Campen
Boudewijn Koole for Witfilm, Iris Lammertsma for Witfilm
Jean Counet, Jefrim Rothuizen
Albert Markus
Mark Wessner

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary

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.

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