Letters to S.

    • Layla Abyad
    • Switzerland, Syria
    • 2015
    • 12 min
    • Shifting Perspectives: The Arab World
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    Filmmaker Layla Abyad sends a personal video letter from Switzerland to her friend Sama, who is still in Syria. In voice-over, she describes local life to her, sometimes with a humorous slant. What strikes a Syrian most about Switzerland? That you don’t need to feed the seemingly stray cats, for example, because they always belong to someone. Meanwhile, we see snippets of calm Swiss life around her, including a peaceful pro-refugee street demonstration, but also an anti-Muslim gathering, to which Abyad pointedly comments: "Where do I start to explain to this man that I have statistically more reasons to fear his vote’s support for the arms industry than he has to fear the underground fanatics already killing way more Syrians than Swiss?" At first, this juxtaposition of two different realities has a sobering effect, but when it becomes clear what the exact situation of her friend Sama is, the contrast gets more painful.

     

    Credits

    • 12 min
    • color
    • DCP
    • Spoken languages: English, Arabic
    • Subtitles in: English
    Director
    Layla Abyad
    Co-director
    Annika Fausch
    Production
    Olivier Zobrist for Langfilm
    Co-production
    ZHdK Zurich
    Cinematography
    Sarah Jüstrich
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    IDFA history

    2017
    Screened
    Shifting Perspectives: The Arab World

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    IDFA history