Mais Darwazah discusses her new feature film, “My Love Awaits Me by the Sea,” which was recently screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.
What was your inspiration?
When I saw Hasan Hourani’s work [his book, “Hasan is Everywhere”]…I fell in love with a man I had never met, and would never meet, as Hasan drowned in Jaffa just a few years before. Hasan’s ability to create this utopian world, although he lived under occupation, amazed me. His beautiful ‘world’ urged me to take this first trip back to my forbidden homeland, to find my love, discover the place and create my own memories. I knew that if I could find others like Hasan I would be able to continue dreaming of the Palestine I sought, and eventually find my own logic of a more beautiful and fair world. He gave me the strength to visit Palestine as I created another dream.
It’s a space to share all our desires, fears, weaknesses, aspirations, dreams, stories, secrets…hopes. It’s a place where I can create a world that makes sense, a safe world where I feel totally free. The very idea of the film is to construct a dream/reality using one’s own mind. I wanted to create something that had a homemade feel to it, something very simple, to encourage the viewer to feel they can do the same.
What was your reaction to TIFF?
The most important thing for me being there was that such an outspokenly politicized yet personal film as mine was shown before the world. To be present along with the other three Palestinian films is an important presence for the cause: it both exposes the occupation’s crimes against humanity and shows that the creative industry is so alive with people having a platform of expression irrespective of all odds. Such resilience in getting our voices out shows that the resistance is still alive.
For more info – My Love Awaits Me by the Sea