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A THOUSAND FIRES


Saeed Taji Farouky, France/Switzerland/Netherlands/Palestine, 2021, 90'
WORLD Premiere
Screenings:
Fr. 6.8.2021, 11h00, La Sala
Sa. 7.8.2021, 9h00, Palacinema 1

en / it / de / fr

Pipes are sunk into the ground. While oil is extracted from underground deposits, mud-covered hands are at the helm of a drilling rig. These actions are scrutinized by the eyes of filmmaker Saeed Taji Farouky. Brownish material mixes with human perspiration. And then follows a close-up of a back: the steadily moving shoulder blades, the wrinkling skin. Bodies and matter are one. The movement seems perpetual.

This effort is observed in the oil fields of the Magway region of Burma. Watched by their son, this is where Thein Swe and Twe Tin, two benevolent parents, work laboriously, earning a few pennies to make a living. But the teenager yearns for one thing only: Becoming a professional footballer and leaving the countryside.

The big day has come. After the first selections in his village, he heads towards the city to get closer to his dream. Thein Swe and Twe Tin support him despite their lingering doubts: Will he have a chance to succeed? And, most importantly: Will he succeed in being happy?

The Palestinian and British filmmaker, who is accustomed to long-term projects, offers us a humanistic look at people “who fight for their freedom and dignity”, as he puts it. A subtle and minute observation of a demanding and risky activity.The artist ends up drawing a touching portrait of a family marked by generational conflicts, in a society that places increasing importance on image and social networks.

Adrien Kuenzy