The movie “Tent 56” stirs up widespread controversy among Syrians
Actor Alaa Al-Zoubi apologizes and promises to delete the work from the communication sites
Saturday – 2 Muharram 1444 AH – 30 July 2022 AD
A scene from the movie “Tent 56”
Cairo: Intisar Dardir
The Syrian short film “Tent 56” caused an uproar after it was recently shown on YouTube, where sharp criticism and accusations of “insulting Syrian refugees,” especially the people of the Syrian region of Houran (a region in southern Syria affiliated with Daraa Governorate), which leads back to Reminds of the crisis of the movie “Princess” by director Mohamed Diab, which was withdrawn from the public display after being accused of “abusing Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.”
The film “Tent 56”, which was produced four years ago, and participated in many festivals, including the Alexandria Film Festival, from which it won the award for the best short fiction film during its 2018 session. Some Syrians considered it to present a bad image of refugees and accused it of “pornography” because it contained “pornography.” Indecent words and scenes. As described by followers.
The events of the film revolve within 18 minutes inside a camp for the displaced Syrians, where husbands find it difficult to be alone with their wives due to the narrowness of the tent that shelters them and their children, until one of the wives comes to the idea of allocating a tent for each of them to meet his wife on a specific day, and the work depicts in a comic manner the situations in which the tent turns into The heroine of the event, where the wind blows her on the day when one of them will meet his wife, which makes the woman mourn her luck, and the men of the tent join forces to set it up again, amid the curiosity of the children, who snoop in an attempt to discover what is happening in the tent that they are forbidden to approach, indifferent to the warning of their parents And not believing that it is for the comfort of the parents away from their noise, while the scene of the end and the fire is raging in the tent after a candle lit by one of them. The film was written by Sondos Barhoum, directed by Saif Sheikh Najib, and co-starring Alaa Al-Zoubi, Safa Sultan, Nawara Youssef, and Shadi Al-Safadi.
Overnight, the movie “Tent 56” turned into a “trend”, amid an artistic, social and sectarian controversy on social networking sites that buzzed with different opinions, some with the film and others against it. The Syrian director Wassim Janem described on his Facebook page the film as “a farce and a lack of Terrible taste and decadence.” He said, “I watched the movie and saw nothing but insult and disdain for the displaced and the people living in the camps.” And anger from our honorable people, but the idea was abstract, trivial, flat and closer to intentionality.”
On the other hand, a number of activists on the communication sites defended the subject of the film and the method of presentation, which reflects the humanitarian reality experienced by the displaced in the camp, and that it does not harm the people of Houran in any way.
However, the accusations against the film’s hero were more severe, the actor Alaa Al-Zoubi Ibn Houran, as the Al-Zoubi tribe, to which he belongs, demanded his disavowal and trial, denouncing the film’s failure to address real problems suffered by the refugees in light of miserable living conditions, which prompted Alaa Al-Zoubi, one of the stars of the series “Arous”. Beirut” to offer a public apology to the people of Houran, and he appeared in a video clip he posted on the “Instagram” website, stressing that “the people of Houran are his family, his people, his clan and his bond, and that he is proud of them, and what bothers them disturbs him, admitting that he made a mistake in addressing this issue, considering it a miscalculation. From him, noting that he is not just thinking about offending them or offending the refugees who are his family and relatives, declaring that the film will be deleted from all social media sites.
The director of the film, Saif Al-Sheikh Najib, who has achieved important works in the Syrian drama, including (Echo of the Spirit, Narrow Corridors, Another Life, The Black Box), said in press statements that “the idea of the film did not aim to delve into bodies, not even instinct, but rather to talk about sexual need.” He explained, “The idea of the film is harsh and its content is violent, but we presented it in a simple and light way.”
In turn, Syrian critic Samer Ismail says that the film does not offend anyone, stressing in statements to Asharq Al-Awsat that “the use of the Houran dialect is natural and no aggression against the people of Houran occurred through it,” noting that “the uproar that is being raised About the film, it is similar to the uproar that was raised in Egypt about the movie (Friends and Dearest).
Ismail believes that it is “a humanitarian film that tried to document the current Syrian moment,” explaining that “in Syria, there is a famous TV series entitled (Spot of Light) that presented what is known as television panels. What is in the film is related to recording many paradoxes in the life of the Syrian camps, but in general it represents a good attempt despite all the controversy raised, and in fact we must pay tribute to the director, although the film in my opinion is less than expected, but I commend the good moments recorded by Saif Sheikh Najib and they are related to the circumstances The hardship that refugees live in the camps.
The Egyptian critic Magda Khairallah described the film as “beautiful and painful” at the same time, saying in statements to Asharq Al-Awsat: “I do not understand the objection to it, as it does not contain any scene that prompts an objection to it, but the meaning it confirms is that refugees are deprived of Their most basic human rights, which enhances the value of the film.”
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