Ajyal Film Festival 2024

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An Unusual Summer

Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2020

Kamal Aljafari / Feature Documentary / Palestine, Germany / 2020 / 80 min / In Arabic, English / MENA Premiere
Rated: Mature subject matter which may not be suitable for minors. Parental guidance is strongly advised.Individuals under the age of 15 are not admitted into cinemas.


Following an act of vandalism, Palestinian filmmaker Kamal Aljafari’s father decides to install a surveillance camera to record the scenes unfolding in front of their house. By doing so, he unconsciously immortalises vignettes of everyday family life, neighbours going to work, and children off to school. ‘An Unusual Summer’ captures these fleeting moments of poetry and all the while in the background, the daily choreography of Ramla, comes to the surface. From these low-quality images of an unwavering surveillance camera’s point of view, the film subtly manages to gradually reveal unexpected storylines.
“In the distant past, many years ago, in front of this house, there stood a fig tree in a garden, which has now vanished, bulldozed into memory, and swept up by History and Time”. Composing with visual material of low-definition aesthetics, finely punctuated with sound effects, Kamal Aljafari creates a mechanical diary of a life that scrolls past the window and succeeds with patience and infinite grace in transfiguring a ‘film à dispositif’ based on a security device—into a personal and eminently political fresco.

About the Director

Kamal Aljafari is a Palestinian filmmaker. He attended the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne and now lives in Berlin, Germany. He has taught filmmaking at The New School in New York and the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB). He was also a Film Study Center Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University. In 2021, Olhar de Cinema – Curitiba International Film Festival in Brazil devoted its Focus Section to his work. Aljafari’s 'Paradiso, XXXI, 108' premiered at Corti d'Autore, at the Locarno Film Festival 2022.


Kamal Aljafari
Kamal Aljafari
Kamal Aljafari
Kamal Aljafari

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