Another film from the Mashriq which struck us with its cinematic poetics and sensitivity is Obscure by Soudade Kaadan. This is a film that follows a very young Syrian refugee boy and his elective mute response to the tragedies of war in his homeland.  The disjunctures in this boy’s life, his displacement into a Palestinian refugee camp, his refusal of language, his separation from the norms of childhood are patiently depicted by Soudade as she follows his new yet uncertain life and the sincere efforts of family, friends and therapists to reach and heal him. More a film of the everyday than some grand essaying vision, Soudade has spoken of how the Western media “drowned its audiences with cruel images of massacre”.  Her film is an antidote to such helplessness in the way it evokes our memories of such images through the ‘obscure’ filter of childhood trauma. There is a beauty of intent here.


Soudade Kaadan interview: