ABOUT THE FILM
“I must smell the aromas and taste the flavors of a story before I can begin to visualize it.” Viviana M. Calderón de la barca, director.
That's exactly what happened when meeting other foreign women, of different ages and professions, after sharing delicious treats, travel, and life stories during different encounters in our hosted land.
All images by Jesse van Venrooij
As the title suggests, the storyline of this documentary style narrative, looks at the life journey of migrant women currently living in the Netherlands. One of them, a young Palestinian escaping the Syrian Civil War traveling boat to truck, across a war-scarred region.
The story opens with a reflexion of what exactly is the modern concept of our cultural identity, in particular, after living abroad, Brexit, Trump, and the Syrian crisis. We see empowering women and a younger Hala finding herself working at a youth center in a municipality near Eindhoven in the Netherlands - the center for technology for enabling innovation worldwide.
Then, the documentary style narrative oscillates between interviews and Viviana’s feelings for her present home and her country of birth. We learn also about the sentiments of Hala that start at the local asylum with her beliefs in charge of her inherited identity when media portrays resisting refugees sneering at other refugees, as they seek to remake or retain their beliefs beyond speaking native tongues or cooking traditional dishes.
Hala — who has not changed or westernized her name — on the same token will always lament the loss of her dear native city Damascus but, instead of developing a refrain to her situation as that of more conservative fellow refugees, she persists to adapt by adopting new ways. Yet, as the other women in the story, Hala is not giving up what she considers an important part of her self-identity. And it is in such situations of doubt when all of them make themselves questions.
These empowering women are like any other of their generation with fleeting moments of doubts that help mold their identity and build toward the recognition that, as part of a multicultural modern family or society, they also have an individual identity. Hala being the youngest, also gives direction to her new reality by opting to retreat in it instead to revive unfortunate cases of her prewar life.
Yet, nothing has been easy to none.
A film costs time, money and creative effort. Via crowdfunding, my wishes to hire talented professionals will become a reality. The documentary is in the last stage of postproduction and needs edition, from sound, coloring, and music. Hopefully it will be ready before the end of year.
The story tackles hard-hitting topics such as women empowerment, cultural identity, multiculturalism, culture prejudice, racial generalizations, migration, displacement, and experiences of oppression and privilege.