Prisoners of Kanun

The centuries-old custom of blood feuds has started blighting lives in Albania since the collapse of communism, particularly in the northern mountains, where  the fear of blood vengeance forces many families to live as fugitives in their own houses. The ancestral code of “Kanun”, which has governed rural life in Albania for five centuries of foreign occupation, includes the right  to avenge an earlier killing with the murder of a descendent: “Blood must be paid for with blood”.

Best documentary film award at El Corto del año 2014, Spain

Honorable Mention Human Rights Category, Festival Contra El Silencio Todas Las Voces 2014, Mexico

Screened at:

Bristol Encounters Short Film Festival 2013
Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival 2013
Festival Paris Courts Devant 2013
Festival Int. Derechos Humanos y cine Caracas 2013
Festival Cortometrajes Andoenredando 2013
Jameson CineFest Molkolc Int. Film Festival 2013
Festival Internacional cine Lanzarote 2014
IWOIFF – Islands in the World Oceania Int. Film Festival 2014
Documental Madrid 2014

A City Without Dreams

 

Nouri fled Aleppo in the summer of 2012. He left behind a city at war. The documentary “A City Without Dreams” takes place between Beirut (Lebanon) and Aleppo (Syria) and talks about the lost dreams of an entire Syrian generation in these two cities.

Currently, almost one million Syrian refugees live in Lebanon. Many of these refugees live in poverty and despair in the tents of the hundreds of camps scattered across Lebanon. There are certainly even more refugees that have lost their homes, along with their lives in Syria. But exile and the Syrian diaspora also affects an invisible generation of young artists and entrepreneurs whose future expectations were destroyed in their own country. They are forced to live in cities like Beirut where they cannot hope to develop their interests and they are treated with contempt because of their nationality. Many have searched in Beirut, reference of modernity in the Middle East, the place to further develop their work, although most of them have to face the rejection of the Lebanese society, which blames them for many of its endemic problems. Nouri travelled with his girlfriend Heba to Beirut, where his son Aram was born a year ago. The Lebanese law requires parents to be married in order to have children –if after a year they fail to meet this requirement; the father can go to jail. They are in a deadlock. Their only option is to leave the country bound for Sweden.

Meanwhile, the documentary takes us to Aleppo in March 2013. At that time the city had been in the grip of war for more than eight months and was completely divided in two areas: one still dominated by the Syrian government and another controlled by numerous rebel groups, many of them without military experience and made up of young people united only by the idea of overthrowing the regime of Bashar al Assad. These young people appear and disappear on the frontline in the maze of the old city of Aleppo, which has been completely destroyed. These people, who formerly inhabited the streets of the old city, have now become anonymous characters who fight and die every day.

GRAFO DOCUMENTAL © 2014

Machine Man

Video

A reflection on modernity and global development. Men as a machines. The use of human physical force to perform work in the XXI Century. The film takes place in the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka, where a mass of millions of people become the driving force benind the city. DURATION: 15 Min. Bangladesh 2011

Awards:

‐Best Film Award at ICCL Human Rights Award 2012 Ireland
‐Best Short Film and Creation of CANAL+ at Women’s Film Festival of Creteil 2012, France
‐Audience Award for Best Documentary at Ciné Globe Film Festival 2012, Switzerland
‐Best Documentary Award at “In the Palace Film Festival 2012”, Bulgaria
‐Best Documentary Award at Porto7 2012, Portugal
‐Best Documentary Award at Festival por la Diversidad Andoenredando 2012, Spain
‐Best Documentary Award at ECOZINE Zaragoza 2012, Spain
‐Special Mention at Visionaria Film Festival 2012, Italy
‐Special Mention at AYIFF Film Festival 2012, Turkey
‐Special Mention at Contro‐Sguardi Festival 2012 “Culture‐Work‐Multimedia”, Italy
‐Special Mention at IOWFF 2012, UK
‐Best edition award at XXI International Festival of Ethnological Film Belgrade, Serbia 2012
‐Best documentary award at FIC Puebla 2012, Mexico
‐Adana Golden Boll Film Festival 2012, Turkey
-Award of the Mayor of Čadca 2012, Slovenia
-Best Short Film at Free Net World  2011, Serbia
‐Best Documentary Award at ISSFC 2011, Cyprus
‐Best Documentary Award at Festival de Zaragoza 2011, Spain
‐Best Short Film at Free Net World 2011, Serbia
‐Best Film at “DocZone section” Concorto Festival 2011, Italy
‐Best Short Documentary at Atlantidoc 2011, Uruguay
‐Special Mention International Section at Thai Short Film Festival 2011, Thailand

Tales from Dadaab

Video

Dadaab is the largest refugee camp in the world, located approximately 100 kilometers from the Kenya-Somalia border. Constructed in the early 1990s. Dadaab camps host people that have fled various conflicts in the larger Eastern Africa region, most of them have come as a consequence of the civil war in southern Somalia. In 2011, the East Africa drought caused a dramatic surge in the camps’ population. During summer 2011 it was reported that more than 1000 people per day were arriving in dire need of assistance, increasing the number of refugees hosted in the camps to 500,000 by the end of this year.

Addicts, generation lost to Afghanistan

Video

There are no hard statistics on the number of heroin addicts in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, what is known is that since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 that number has grown to dizzying heights. Heroin comes from opium, a substance which for years Afghanistan has been the world’s principal provider. It is estimated that 90% of the world’s heroin consumption originates from this country’s growing fields.
During the reign of the mullahs, opium use by Afghanis was prohibited, even while its exportation reached new heights. Nowadays opium is transformed into heroin inside of Afghanistan and sold as such to the outside world via the west through Iran or the north through Russia. More significantly, the youth of Afghanistan have begun to consume heroin. And in addition, many of the Afghan refugees who fled the war return from Iran or Pakistan as addicts.
For over 30 years, Afghan society lives in a country scarred by permanent conflict. After the fall of the Taliban, everything seemed to indicate that the country’s reconstruction would begin. Unfortunately, reconstruction never takes hold and an entire generation of young Afghans loses hope for a future increasingly uncertain. They are the tender underside of the geopolitical conflict: a lost generation of youth beginning their journey to the darkness that is heroin.
While NATO forces expand their campaign against the southern opium plantations that economically maintain the Taliban, no resources are dedicated to prevent heroin consumption inside the country. In Kabul alone, only one center exists and that with barely 10 beds to treat addicts that could be counted in the thousands. After two weeks of tortuous treatment, a high percentage relapses. Heroin-refining laboratories are now found all over the country, but especially in Kabul. The local market price is 100 Afghanis–about $2: a high price considering the average income is $100 per month.
In Kabul, the majority of addicts take refuge in the Russian cultural center, now decrepit in the eastern side of the capital. Besides taking their heroin fix here, they live among these broken-down buildings in conditions of extreme filth and misery while the government and authorities remain passive. The only visitors are the few doctors that arrive every Saturday to hand out hypodermic needles and test the addicts for HIV. Not wishing to be quoted, they do recognize that Aids cases are rising–they try to convince the addicts not to share needles. But there is a total lack of knowledge among the users and we are reminded of the serious problems the Western world had with heroin use in the 60′s and 70′s.
In short, the problem of heroin in Afghanistan is only beginning. New generations of Afghans seriously risk finding themselves lost without any type of future before them.
The photographs were taken during the months of July-October 2008 in the Old Russian cultural center of Kabul.

No Land

Video

A multimedia piece about the Urban Refugees in Nairobi, Kenya. ( Grafo Documental / Sergi Camara)

Ashura

Video

The Day of Ashura in the Islamic calendar, is the climax of the Mourning celebration for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad in the year 61.

The Battle of Karbala, where Hussein was killed, was the clash between Muslims that defined forever the division between Shia and Sunni. Every year, in the lebanese city of Nabatiyeh, thousands of Shiites march en masse to show their grief and shed their blood as a ritual, in remembrance of the martyrdom of the third Imam.