Het Bos
Ankerrui 5-7, Antwerp

Omar Al-Samarrai - Letter from Brussel
s (2018, 18’) + TBA

The film is like a love letter from the director, immediately direct to his children in Iraq. We see Omar Al-Samarrai preparing his children's favourite dish: Bamia. In the meantime he reveals his longing for his family, far from home.

The film is produced by Cinemaximiliaan and came into being during a workshop of Béla Tarr. Cinemaximiliaan brings films and debates to asylum centres, into people's homes and movie theaters throughout the country. They build bridges between newcomers and locals in a personal way. All films are produced and made in and around the Cinemaximiliaan project house in Brussels. This house has become a place where people come together, work together, sleep together misschien beter live together?, film together. The house transformed itself into a film set and became a character in all the films.

Omar Al-Samarrai on ‘Cheers!’ (2018, 9’) by Angela Al-Souliman & ‘Journey on the plain’  (1995, 35’) by Béla Tarr
‘Cheers!’ is a film about the difficulties of communication between people from different cultures. The love between a Syrian girl and a European man is not strong enough to transcend their differences.  

Béla Tarr’s films carry a profound, universal humanity that is not only captured in his subdued, contemplative characters, but also in his explorations of an inhospitable nature. ‘Journey on the plain’ is a translation of a view that searches the human being in his environment, a confluent portrait of Béla Tarr’s house composer Mahaly Vig reciting poems by Sándor Petöfi. It was this deeply human force that was also the driving force on Omar Al-Samarrai and Angela Al Souliman’s sets, who both made their own short film in the Cinemaximiliaan project house in Molenbeek under Bela Tarr’s supervision.