When I Saw You

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When I Saw You

Directed by Annemarie Jacir

  • Palestine, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Greece 2012; 93 min
  • Original version: Arabic
  • Genre: Drama
    • NETPAC Prize- Berlin IFF
    • Prix SIGNIS, Audience Award - Amiens IFF
    • Best Arab Film - Abu Dhabi FF
    • Palestinian submission for the Academy Awards
  • Toronto IFF - Contemporary World Cinema


Jordan 1967: Eleven-year-old Tarek is stranded in the Harir refugee camp with his mother Ghaydaa. Palestine is not far away, but it’s as out of reach as his father. The adults have installed themselves among the tents and improvised dwellings, more than used to waiting. The boy hates the tight quarters, the dumb teacher, the slimy food … and the patience of the others. When an older woman tells him she’s been in the camp for more than twenty years, he knows the time has come for him to leave. He wants to go home, to his father. He takes off and finds his way to a rebel camp. Tarek is only half the size of the cool, bearded men with long hair, weapons, and PLO scarves, who listen to rebel music and are determined to fight. When Ghaydaa finally finds Tarek, at first it’s only her son’s stubbornness that compels her to stay there with him. But the mother’s relationship to her son changes with each day in the camp, and both of them can sense that a new dawn is breaking, not only in Jordan and Palestine. Lamma shoftak tells of a child’s ability to prevent adults from becoming resigned to their situation when hope for change still exists.






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