Wednesday, November 19, 2014

a mesmerising film about Damascus

by Waref Abu Quba. it will only take 4 minutes of your time.

a four-minute short that merely shows a slice of life in the city. It captures people walking, façades of old buildings, iron doors, shadows of trees, clouds kissing steeples, city lights and calligraphy carved into walls. Filmmaker Waref Abu Quba’s style captures the aesthetics of nostalgia itself due to the way in which images filter and flit across the screen – languorous, soft, full of flux and a kind of bittersweet joy. It is a particularly touching reminder of a city that, due to the ongoing war, has become lost to the world as a place of vibrant vitality, beauty, history and quite simply, humanity. This choreography of images is set to the sound of legendary Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish’s poem, “The Damascene Collar of the Dove” -- from here. and there's more.

The translation of the Darwish poem doesn't quite follow (although perhaps uses) Fady Joudah's brilliant translation, which is here. And here is a randomly chosen verse:

In Damascus:
the stranger sleeps
on his shadow standing
like a minaret in eternity’s bed
not longing for a land
or anyone . . .

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