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Diary From the Revolution

2013 DOK Leipzig, International Programme Documentary Film, Filmpreis "Leipziger Ring"
Norway | 2012 | 79 min. | Arabic, English | English subtitles | German Premiere
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Diary From the Revolution | Dagbok fra revolusjonen

The first image: a reminiscence of Western movies – the director Nizam Najjar in a dusty landscape. But he can’t keep up this kind of cool for long; in Tripoli he is not deceived by the paroxysms of joy. Parts of the country are still occupied by Gaddafi’s troops; the front lines in Libya are confusing. He has spent the last ten years in the safety of exile in Oslo. Now that his country is in upheaval, nothing will keep him there. “Armed” with his camera he joins the rebels at Misrata, not concealing his fear. He is allowed to live among the irregular troops lead by Haj Siddiq as “one of them” for more than a year. He records skirmishes, problems with arms supplies and the provisional camp life in a video diary. His observations of the Al Gabra Brigade themselves are equally enlightening. What is its structure, how do the characters change? Even though they might die as heroes, all these young rebels have plans for a life on earth. The call for a “martyr’s death” sounds more and more like a hollow phrase. The charismatic figure of Haj Siddiq is at the centre of the filmmaker’s focus. Like a patriarch the former developer has gathered his family and former employees around him and made them his loyal followers. His smug style of leadership already contains calculations for the assumption of power after victory.

Cornelia Klauß
Original Title: Dagbok fra revolusjonen
Country: Norway
Year: 2012
Language: Arabic, English
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 79 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Nizam Najjar
Producer: Kristine Ann Skaret, Geir Bølstad
Cinematographer: Khalifa Elfetory, Sadoon Alamlas, Blade Kushba
Editor: Torkel Gjørv
Music: John Birger Wormdahl, Bjarne Larsen
Sound: Bernt Syvertsen
Script: Nizam Najar
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The texts to the Documentary Competition films and the International Programme films were written by the members of the selection committee. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.