My Love Awaits Me by the Sea (Habibi Beyestanani End Al-Bahr)
New Voices in Cinema
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On discovering the drawings and poems of the late Hasan Hourani, who had drowned a few months earlier, director Mais Darwazah felt the ebullience of having found a kindred spirit. A singular painter and poet, Hourani created a fantastical world in which he was a perpetual child, stuck in boyhood, his freedom not limited by the occupation under which he grew up in Palestine.
A Palestinian raised in Jordan, Darwazah was inspired by Hourani’s wondrous reveries, in which he lives under water, sleeps in the clouds, and falls in love with a fish. She decided to journey for the first time to her native Palestine, to the seafront city of Jaffa, where Hourani lost his life. She hopes to answer a question: How can one return to a place that has only ever existed in one’s mind?
A poetic, first-person essay film, ‘My Love Awaits Me by the Sea’ is a voyage of discovery and reckoning that contemplates the meanings of belonging, nostalgia, affiliation and love. Along the way, Darwazah spends time with her own considerations of Palestine, and with various Palestinians and their chosen forms of resistance. The result is a quietly meditative consideration of how we all have the opportunity to construct our own lives on our own terms.