This documentary double bill offers two intimate and novel insights into two of the major situations that inform the East/ West relationship in today’s troubled political times.
In Being Osama, Mahmoud Kaabour and Tim Schwab offer an intimate look into the lives of six Montréalers named Osama, all highly diverse in their backgrounds, interests and personalities but united by their first name and by their experience as Arabs living in Canada in the post-9/11 world. The Osamas featured include a successful DJ, a political science student and a composer, who provides music and a narrative commentary throughout the journey. Their stories illustrate the unpalatable truth that the most Westernised Muslims are now forced to live their lives against a backdrop of continuing conflict and suspicion between the West and the Arab/Islamic world; unhappily, they have not only their name in common, but also the experience of being on the receiving end of personal attacks or problems because of it.
Basil Khalil’s Replay Revenge explores the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from a tongue-in-cheek perspective. Framed as a road movie, and including varied cinematic forms as part of its narrative, including animation and sketches, it tells the story of Basil’s journey from serene Scotland to turbulent Israel and Palestine, discovering how people at the business end of the conflict, both victims and hedonists, deal with their situation without resorting to fighting fire with fire. KM