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Ship Of Fools

Spring Grants 2021 - Development Stage

Alia Haju / Short Documentary / Germany, Lebanon, Qatar / 20 min / Original Language: Arabic, English / Interests: Social Issues, Animation, Women, Biography, War, Based on a True Story, Identity, Creative Documentary


She didn’t even know they were bombs. When her father could no longer pretend they were falling stars, the family fled to Beirut, later escaping the country. At 18, she returns, discovering the jungle of her war-torn country, which clashes with her illusions of a homeland. With the harsh reality surrounding her, Alia shifts from art into visual journalism covering the Syrian war and Lebanon. Seeking refuge at Beirut’s seaside, she meets Abu-Samra. A supernatural force talks to him through television, giving him the mission to fight evil. She is drawn to his world, a world the sane fear. He advises her to look at the sky and the sea instead of the pictures of death, and she finally quits her job. A revolution sparks. But in 2020, the collective dreams fade. The revolution stalls, the economy collapses, the super-villain government clings to power. Then the heart of the city is shattered by a deafening explosion. Beirut is on its deathbed. The mad are still waiting insidiously.


Alia Haju
Alia Haju, Lea Najjar
Manuel Rees, Frank Carsten Walter
Production Company
Paradoks Filmproduktion

About the Director

Alia Haju is a multidisciplinary artist, musician and journalist living between Beirut and Brooklyn. Born in 1986, Alia grew up in South Lebanon until 1994, when she fled during the Israeli war on Lebanon to the UAE and later the USA. In 2005 she returned to Lebanon to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the American University of Beirut. Alia worked in various fields, including music, art direction, feature films, television series, and advertising. She worked for Reuters (2012-2017) as a photographer and photo editor, covering the MENA region and the Syrian war, and as a freelance investigative journalist for multiple media organizations and advocacy groups, including The Legal Agenda, Amnesty International and UNDP. Alia’s award-winning photography and video work have been published in global media outlets and featured in numerous exhibits. She is currently working on a number of projects, including the feature-doc 'Kashkash', and short anime-doc 'Ship of Fools'.


  • Main Contact

    Manuel Rees


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