Accepted paper:

The Other Side


Samuli Schielke (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO))

Paper short abstract:

The Other Side is a short film by Mukhtar Shehata and Samuli Schielke about class boundaries and the gaze towards the other side whereby people search to cross the lines that separate them.

Paper long abstract:

Shot on location in the district of Al-Mandara in Alexandria, The Other Side is set at two boundaries that mark the lives and expectations of the inhabitants of the area. One is the Abu Qir railway line that runs parallel to the coastline, separating a wealthy neighbourhood at the seafront from a poor, informal area on the inland side. The other boundary is the Mediterranean sea, which separates North Africa and the Middle East from wealthy Europe. The hero, a man with an extremist appearance from the poor side of the railroad, finds the railroad as impenetrable as the walls of Berlin and Palestine. But if his course of action seems violent at first, it soon takes a different turn. Standing at the railroad, he faces the impossibility of a love across social classes. Having finally crossed one wall under suspicious circumstances, he finds himself facing new walls. Gazing across the sea, he wonders whether there may be someone like him at the opposite shore, also longing for the other side.

panel W401
Ethnographic film screening