Movies that reflect on human nature screening at SIFF 2019

  • Thursday 17, October 2019 11:11 AM
Sharjah 24: Day 4 of the seventh edition of the Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF) 2019, held at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC), unveiled a collection of movies that offered an insight into the subtle intricacies of human nature in varied circumstances and situations.
In Mum, a young emerging filmmaker Mariam Al Awadhi lays bare her soul and confusion, directing her anger against her mother – a source of shame to her because of her racial identity. Spending most of her life hiding her mother’s Indian background, Mariam confronts her identity head-on as she grows up, coming to terms with her mixed cultural background.

Norway’s Dan Johan Filip Svensson leads us into the troubled world of another young teen who has shut himself from the world in Things We Don’t Talk About. He eventually opens up – at a rehab centre – about the accident that cost his mother’s life and his guilt on surviving it, setting in motion the healing process to let go of the past.

The story of Sam, a Muslim convert in Europe, will resonate with anyone who has gone against their father’s wishes. Cultures collide in Swimming to the Moon as Sam only wants his family to accept him the way he is while his father, afraid of losing him, tries to protect him out of love.

Switzerland’s Nils Hedinger draws us into the fascinating world of a protagonist who never gives up. Kuap, a tadpole, somehow misses out on becoming a frog and is left behind. This coming-of-age story is a refreshing reminder that not everyone develops at the same pace and that it is ok to be a late bloomer.

Several films screened yesterday also used the power of the visual medium to explore emotions about loss, death and grief. In Eleonore Goldberg’s My Yiddish Papi, a young woman misses her grandfather's last phone call. She is tormented wondering what would he have said if she had only picked up the call. She finally puts her grief to bed by remembering and keeping an old promise she has made to him - her vow to pass on to future generations his story of courage and resistance in the face of fear.

South American director Sarah explores the concept of the circle of life in her beautifully animated Drops. Here, little raindrops take on human shapes, but soon it’s time to let go of the earth and rise again. The change scares them until one young drop shows them the right way to embrace the inevitable circle of life with joy.

SIFF runs until October 18 under the theme ‘Films Inspired by Books’.