That’s why I shed light on harassment
“Youssef’s Journey.. The Forgotten” was not the first work for his fans to participate in Egypt, through the Cairo International Film Festival, as he previously participated in previous sessions of the festival with the films “Waiting for Autumn” and “Homs”. Rain”, where the Syrian director Jude Saeed sees that “this festival has a big role in the films he has made.”
In an interview with Al-Arabiya.net, he confirmed that the festival is the door that allows his films to travel to the farthest borders, and his new film managed to win great praise from the Egyptian public at the world premiere, although he wished to receive the festival’s award, because he confirmed that awards are given The film is an added value, but its absence does not hurt at the same time.
Tell us about the idea of the film and what happens?
The film revolves around Youssef and his family. At a time when many Syrians fled to a country of refuge for fear of war, he and his family left for fear of love, not knowing what their days awaited in a new country and a lost identity. The idea of the project was the result of a session that brought me together with the artist Ayman Zaidan and we wanted to tell the world about the tragedy of displacement from the homeland and what happens to life after this step.
How did the preparations for the film go?
The preparations took a long time, because they started in 2019, due to the nature of the project’s events, as well as the process of selecting the actors. Some of the main characters in the film are teenagers, and I entrusted them to people who had no acting experience until now. During the preparation for it, I chose another life, far from the life of the refugees, despite the coexistence with them, so as not to deviate from the path or the main line of the idea prepared by me and the filmmakers.
What difficulties did you encounter during filming?
There are many difficulties, the most prominent of which is the increase in the budget allocated to the project, due to the recent decline in the economic situation in Syria, in addition to stopping filming several times, during the outbreak of the Corona virus there. All these circumstances required the true faith of the working team, so that we could bring it to light, especially since the filming lasted more than a year, and it also includes some real footage, which was used as part of the documentary part of the film. project.
What is the reason for presenting the Syrian war in most of your recent films?
I lived through this war and continued to live in it, so whoever lives the war will not leave it until he sees its last day, so I, as an artist and project holder, will deal with the war and its consequences in my work, because during the events in the film, usually more I like to combine scenes from the film with other documentary scenes of real people from the camp that I have prepared. The reason is to give the right dimension to the film and to convince the viewer that the events he saw in the film stem from the truth that the audience sees in front of him in the documentary.
Many have confirmed that the end of the film is difficult?
Despite the cruelty of the ending, with the death of “Hadžera” and “Ziyad”, I was happy for this ending despite its cruelty, and the reason for that is the problems that happened between them, and precisely because of them “the love of Romeo and Juliet”, so I am more liked the end to be painful, because it is the end that leaves a mark on people even if you remember it.
The film contains a scene of rape and sexual harassment.. Tell us about it
There is a clear and explicit position on the concept of sexual harassment, and in general we know that this issue has become a big phenomenon in Arab societies, and during the film we see how parents deal with what their children are exposed to, through the father’s sentence, which is a scandal, he tries to cover up that thing, and I became convinced through the film, it talks about the emergence of a society in the tents of Syrian refugees, and that society includes the problems they are exposed to, in addition to the good situations they are exposed to, in addition to the world of crime and immoral people.
Does the film carry a specific message? Are you interested in the idea of showing your films at festivals?
I am not interested in films with messages woven into them, but in the lives of people whose destinies I assume and move towards those destinies; To defend the idea or the victory of the idea, and each viewer interprets those scenes according to his culture, and that is the beauty of cinematography, and I don’t care about the idea of a festival film or an advertising film, while my way of thinking is to make a good film and based on that result, we see how we can make That film lives in the conscience, and how will the life cycle of the film go?
How did the film participate in the Cairo Film Festival?
The communication happened 5 months ago and I am very satisfied with that participation. The film also managed to achieve great interaction on the first night of the festival, and I felt approval and strong reactions to the idea of the film. The film took about 6 months to release the full version, and the most difficult thing that the team and I faced was filming during the corona period, and the truth is that censorship did not intervene to delete or prevent some private scenes from the refugee’s life, so the film turned out complete and realistic.
And what about your new one?
I am currently preparing for a new film which is still in the writing stage. It revolves around a group of girls who live in the Damascene district. The film is not directly about the war, but will deal with its effects on the Syrian people economically and socially, and through it show the hopes and pains of a Syrian girl, and how she lives in her community after all this destruction.
What about your dreams in the cinema?
Still making films, I am not interested in TV dramas, because I feel like a son of the cinema hall, although the drama achieves mass success, name and great breadth, but I like cinema darkness,
What does “Joseph’s Journey” mean to you?
The film represents an extension of the cinematography that I believe in and through which I try to shed light on the unspoken, because it deals with purely humanitarian themes. I consider this film to be the most mature experience for me based on my accumulated experience. the issue of asylum is a very sensitive topic, and through it I tried to shed light on the human aspect, especially what they call the Syrian war. And the displacement of many Syrian citizens to many countries.