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Those Who Watch Over (Ceux Qui Veillent)

Qumra Projects

Karima Saïdi / Feature Documentary / Belgium, Qatar, France
In Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Greek, Hindi, Turkish, Wolof
Interests: Creative Documentary
Rated: This film has not been rated.


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Synopsis

An immigrant ceases to be a traveller when they decide to be buried in their host land. In the south of Brussels, on a patch of virgin ground that used to be a military airport, a new story is being written—that of our ancestors. By completing the cycle of life, by choosing or being forced, because of Covid, to complete it here in Belgium, many immigrants of Arab and African origin have anchored us, their children and families, in their host land. These traces tell us stories that are extended or reinvented when we, the living, find ourselves confronted with our dead, our rituals, and our imaginations in our search to maintain a bond with them. How do we communicate with our dead? What do they tell us? How do they protect us? How do they watch over us? And how do we watch over them? The film speaks of these private encounters. From a standpoint that is at once intimate and polyphonic, I seek to put these stories into dialogue. I look at others; I look at 'Those Who Watch Over' gathered in this place where care is taken to respect plurality for the dead and their living relatives.

About the Director

Karima Saïdi lives in Belgium, where she was born into a family of Moroccan origin. She holds a degree from INSAS in film editing and script continuity, as well as a master’s degree in screenwriting and analysis from ULB. She has worked as an editor for Belgian television (RTBF) since 1997 while also developing a career as a documentary editor (‘Femme taxi à Sidi Bellabes’ by Hadjaj Belkacem, ‘Les damnés de la mer’ by Jawad Raleb, ‘Cheveux rouges et café noir’ by Milena Bochet), and a continuity supervisor for feature films (‘Le cochon de Gaza’ by Sylvain Etsibal, ‘À perdre la raison’ by Joachim Lafosse, ‘Adios Carmen’ by M. A. Benamraoui). In 2013, she created ‘Murmurs et 10 voix’, a series of sound portraits of Moroccan immigrants in Brussels. In 2016, she directed a short documentary, ‘Aïcha’, an evocation of her mother’s death. In 2020 her first feature documentary ‘A Way Home,’ was selected at IDFA and in many international festivals. It won awards at the Milénium and Aflam festivals in Brussels. Currently in development, ‘Those Who Watch Over’, is the second opus of his work on exile and its traces. Karima Saïdi is a lecturer at the University of Liège and also teaches at the INSAS film school in Brussels and the ESAV in Marrakech

Credits

Director
Karima Saïdi
Screenwriter
Karima Saïdi
Producer
Julie Freres

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