Nominated for the Open City Award
Amel Alzakout, born 1988 in Syria, is an artist and film maker based in Leipzig. Between 2010 and 2013 she studied journalism at Cairo University, Egypt. Purple Sea is her directing debut. Previous work includes Backyard (2018, assistant director, 26′), Stranger’s Diaries (2019, with Khaled Abdulwahed, 8-channel video installation, 35′).
Khaled Abdulwahed, born 1975 in Syria, is an artist, photographer and filmmaker based in Leipzig. Between 1996 and 2000 he studied Fine Arts and Graphic Design at Adham Ismail art school in Damascus, Syria and at Frederick University in Nicosia, Cyprus. Previous work includes Bullet (2011, 2′), Tuj (2012, 2′) and Slot In Memory (2013, 2’30”).
When the boat on which she was crossing to Europe capsized off the coast of Lesbos, Syrian artist Amel Alzakout recorded the events using a waterproof camera strapped to her wrist. Co-directed with filmmaker Khaled Abdulwahed, Purple Sea is assembled from the extraordinary images captured during the period she and the other passengers spent trapped in the water. Adrift on the open sea, time seems to stand still as—beyond the chaos and a chorus of cries—a terrible calm descends. Alzakout poignantly narrates her perilous journey, and her poetic commentary feeds into a confrontational psychological reflection on this moment of personal crisis and collective tragedy.
Purple Sea screens as a UK Premiere
Shipwreck at the Threshold of Europe, Lesvos, Aegean Sea
Forensic Architecture | 2020 | UK | 23’
3 Logical Exits
Mahdi Fleifel | 2020 | Denmark, UK, Lebanon | 15’
Screening includes a Q&A with directors Amel Alzakout & Khaled Abdulwahed, hosted by Kevin B. Lee.
Please be advised that a film within this programme contains images of real dead bodies which some viewers may find distressing.
In partnership with the Goethe-Institut.
Read an essay about Purple Sea by Kevin B. Lee.
Available: Block 2 (Sat 12th Sept midday – Tue 15th Sept midnight BST)
Please note: this film is only available to view in the UK.