Ajyal Film Festival 2022

All Films

An Unusual Summer

Ajyal Competition

Kamal Aljafari / Feature Documentary / Palestine, Germany / 2020 / 80 min
In Arabic, English
Interests: Essay Documentary, Experimental
MENA Premiere


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 Directors

Kamal Aljafari is an acclaimed Palestinian filmmaker and artist. His work has been shown worldwide at film festivals such as the Berlinale, Locarno, Viennale and Rotterdam. and museums such as the MoMA and Tate Modern. He attended the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne and now lives in Berlin, Germany. In 2009, he was a featured artist at the 2009 Robert Flaherty Film seminar in New York. Through 2009-2010 he was the Benjamin White Whitney Fellow at Harvard University. He taught filmmaking at The New School in New York. 2011-2013, Kamal Aljafari was a senior lecturer at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin. He was also a Film Study Center-Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University. In 2021 he was a jury member for the Leopard of tomorrow section of the 74th Locarno Film Festival and a jury member for the Burning Lights Competition of Visions du Réel, Nyon. In 2021 Olhar de Cinema – Curitiba International Film Festival in Brazil devoted its Focus Section to his work.


Kamal Aljafari
Kamal Aljafari
Kamal Aljafari
Kamal Aljafari

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