Washington DC – Category: WOMEN
directed by Federica Cellini
with Ali Evarts, Valerie Fenton, Lauren Kieler, Lia Johnson, Sue Struve
Music composed and improvised by Irene Jalenti
A Dhana Production
A young Syrian woman living in New York City has forgotten all about her past, but when she thinks she sees her estranged grandmother filmed on television at the Balkan border, she decides to go find her. Her journey becomes a spiritual voyage to rediscover her roots and her identity. Dhana is a sort of backwards Greek heroine: she doesn’t return home after the war, but rather runs away from peace to find home again in the war. Searching for her grandmother Sham, Syrian-born American Dhana travels to the Balkans at the heart of the migrant crisis, across border walls and through refugee camps, train stations and makeshift shelters. She discovers that even in such dramatic circumstances life goes on: in a tent within a refugee camp, a young Syrian woman is getting married, and all the women around her participate in the ritual to prepare her for her special moment. While witnessing this unique event, Dhana finds herself trapped in a suspended, dreamlike reality. All the women in her present and her past surround her and blend into one another: her Syrian childhood memories resurface, the ones that no bomb could destroy.