The 84-minute documentary ‘You Come from Far Away’ by Egyptian-born director Amal Ramses garnered remarkable praise on Thursday during a screening at the 21st edition of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts, taking place between 10 and 16 April in the Suez Canal city.
The film, which was a favourite in its category, tells the story of three Palestinian sisters from a Jewish mother who were separated to different countries, each speaking a different language, during the time of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) under dictator Francisco Franco.
“For me it’s not a film about history, but a film about the present time through an intimate portrait of some people who paid big prices trying to make the world a better place to live in,” Ramses, who studied cinema in Madrid, says about her film, which was produced by Necati Sonmez.
Many critics and film experts who attended the screening at the Ismailia Cultural Palace praised the film.
“Finally, we introduce Amal Ramses as a director. A very well-made film. I am glad you didn’t fall in many traps while making it including promoting the characters as the daughters of a Jewish mother. This could have been an option that would boost your marketing campaign for the film abroad, but you chose not to even reveal this information until near the end of the film,” commented Egyptian director Magdi Ahmed Ali during a symposium held after the screening.
Many critics and filmmakers expressed their emotional reaction to the film, including DOP Said El-Shimi, who is being honoured during the festival.
Ramses, who founded the Cairo International Women’s Film Festival and the Between the Women Filmmakers Caravan, is leading an international women’s workshop series entitled 'Correspondence Between Women' in addition to recent workshops for filmmaking.
‘You Come from Far Away’ is also competing in the ongoing Gabes Cinema Festival in Tunisia
Under the helm of critic Essam Zakariya, many different activities are being held at the 21st edition of the festival, attended by dozens of filmmakers and critics from across the globe, with dozens of film competing in the various categories while many others are being screened through parallel programmes celebrating African, French and Polish cinemas, in addition to the honouring of seven filmmakers and screenings of their work.
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