Syrian director Abdel Latif Abdel Hamid’s new film Qamaran Wa Zaytouna (Two Moons and an Olive) seems to be a sequel for his trio which he started with the film Liali Iben Awa (Jackal Nights) in mid eighties which was followed by Rasael Shafawiyya (Oral Messages) in early nineties.
In the three films the director goes back to the countryside environment in the sixties of the past century and seeks the help of the coastal dialect (his won dialect), the satire dialect that suits the story he tells. Over all, there is a thin link between the three films represented by a love relation that does not complete.
It is obvious that Abdel Hamid masters a cinematic language of his own, which is full of longing, warmth and romance. This language is burdened with black sarcasm that is consistent with extremely simple direction visions, which have their strong impacts. Sometimes these become similar or complement each other from one film to another to create a harmony among the film’s elements including trees, characters, rivers, clouds, fruits and the moon.
In the film Qamaran Wa Zaytounah as is the case with his previous films, there is no core story that becomes complicated and overlapping in order to reach a solution. The director depends on a simple story and few characters so that the viewer will see simple and quiet scenes that serve the purpose of the director’s vision, which addresses eyes before anything else. Therefore we see him looking after the viewer and the angles of shooting and lighting and many other details related to the visual aspect.
The Two Moons and Olive are two boys and a girls, the film takes place at the beginning of 60s. The brother, sister, father who is completely paralyzed after been injured during the war 1948, and mother who is suffering sexual deprivation and loneliness, which make her a cruel woman punishing severely her son because he sucks his finger and her daughter because she sympathizes with him, by shaving their hairs completely.
Actress Nermin Asaad plays the mother’s role, while actor Asaad Fidda plays the role of the one and only teacher in a school consists of two classes, he teaches them all subjects at the same time in a wide nature. The cruel teacher forces all the students to bring firewood and who doesn’t, will not be allowed to attend the class.
In Qamaran Wa Zaitouna, Abdel Hamid portrays a whole world searches for tenderness within the heart of pain, friendship appears to be the only value which saves from suffering of existence, the same is the love between the three children who seems to be happy despite of the cruel reality. What is remarkable in the film is the clear optimism in the world of poverty, deprivation, cold and violence, the little kids live in.
Qamaran Wa Zaitouna which flows with humanity, allows many readings for each scenes as it reveals the human sides of people within a hard reality. However, the film implies the beautiful cinematic language which marks many of Abdel Hamid’s films.
The film is the first joint production between the public and private sectors. It is produced by Al Fursan Company and the Public Institution for Cinema.
However, Qamaran Wa Zaitouna won the silver award of the 12th Damascus International Film Festival – Albawaba.com
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