SALATA BALADI

Egypt, France, Switzerland 2007 – Director: Nadia Kamel – Original language: Arabic – Subtitles: English

A web of cultures and religions in one family – a great, cosmopolitan salata!

Egyptian director Nadia Kamel's heritage is a complex blend of religions and cultures. Her mother is a half Jewish, half Italian Christian who converted to Islam when she married Nadia's half Turkish, half Ukrainian father. Prompted by the realisation that her ten-year-old nephew was growing up in a society where talk of 'culture clashes' was all too common, she decided to let her mother speak and explore their family history. "The original inspiration for this film was simple enough: a love for my family's stories and a wish to share them. It was a story telling project." But, as she worked on the project, Kamel realised a need for further work to challenge the boundaries between cultures, religions and nationalities that are used to divide us. So she travelled, along with her mother and nephew to Israel and Italy confronting fears and prejudices along the way. "And so my story telling film became a witness to a new story still in the making - a story about my family's efforts to once more climb the wall that unjustly insists on separating our principles from our humanity."

"…As my mother told her stories, I discovered that the film could not simply be a reclaiming of our treasured past: we found ourselves colliding with pockets of denial and silence. Without confronting the taboos of our present, my mother's stories were reduced to self indulgence and nostalgia." – Nadia Kamel

Awards: Noor Award for an Outstanding Documentary, San Francisco Arab Film Festival 2007; International Critics Jury Award and Best Long Documentary, Mumbai Int. Film Festival 2008

http://salatabaladi.blogspot.com

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English/Original Title: House Salad. Writer: Nadia Kamel. Camera: Ibrahim El Battout & Nadia Kamel. Sound: Beatrice Wick & Stephane Lara. Editing: Catherine Mabilat. Music: Kamilya Jubran. Production: Les Films D'Ici. Producer: Richard Copans. Length: 105 min.