A World Not Ours (alam Laysa Lana)

  • Lebanon/UK/Denmark/UAE
  • 93 minutes
  • 2012

Director Mahdi Fleifel’s first documentary feature is a uniquely engaging and personal project. Drawing on a family history of video-taping, Fleifel offers an intimate glimpse into the Ain el-Helweh refugee camp in Lebanon – a settlement of less than a square mile that’s home to over 70,000 people and has existed for over 60 years. Dubai-born and London-based writer, director and cinematographer Fleifel spent his formative years in the camp in the 1980s, before his family settled in Denmark. For years he’s been returning and keeping a video diary, and in A World Not Ours he provides a frank yet affectionate portrait of the community.

Fleifel’s conversations with the camp residents provide an unfiltered take on Palestinian grievances with Israel, Lebanon and their own political leaders. Elsewhere he explores how residents use the World Cup to articulate their own ideas of home, community, victory, and hope. Engaging and accessible, with a quirky, upbeat soundtrack, Fleifel’s personal journey offers a fresh and inviting point of entry to a thorny political history.

Seattle International Film Festival

‘flips storytelling and Mideast-Arab clichés on their heads’
Variety

Winner, Best Film in the International Competition, Edinburgh International Film Festival
Winner, Peace Film Award, Berlin Film Festival
Winner, Best Documentary, Abu Dhabi Film Festival