Privacy of Wounds

  • Dalia Kury
  • Norway
  • 2018
  • 70 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary
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How do you tell completely authentic stories from Syria? Would former prisoners be able to reveal their deepest feelings to an interviewer? The Jordanian filmmaker Dalia Kury came up with a solution. For The Privacy of Wounds, she reconstructed a prison cell in a Norwegian cellar, in which three Syrian immigrants agree to be locked up. With unmanned cameras constantly filming them, they spend three days without daylight on thin mattresses, talking about their time in different Syrian prisons. They tell the most appalling stories: of the deaths of fellow prisoners, torture techniques, and a growing sense of being abandoned.

But this is no lamentation. The men have all been in the same boat, and there are some things they don’t need to explain to each other. What matters most isn’t so much theevents themselves but how they experienced them personally, and how they express this—through poetry, jokes, political discussions or personal anecdotes. In this intimacy born of shared experience lies the authenticity that Kury was seeking.


  • 70 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic
  • Subtitles in: English
Dalia Kury
Jonathan Borge Lie for UpNorth Film
Executive producer
Håvard Bustnes for UpNorth Film, Christian Aune Falch for UpNorth Film, Tonje Hessen Schei / UpNorth Film, Torstein Parelius for UpNorth Film
Dalia Kury, Jonathan Borge Lie, Rabe Irar
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IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

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IDFA history