Michael and I went to a Durchgangszentrum where we got to know a very hospitable family from Iraq. They let us be part of their lives for three days and in the end almost stopped noticing us and the camera.
It was challenging in the beginning to spend so many hours of the day in a rather small, closed room. We were 7 people in total and quite often they even had friends or relatives over. The experience was invaluable though, it gave me a hint of how refugees must fell here in Switzerland.
In the evening on the third day we did a separate interview with father and son. Communication was rather difficult because only the son spoke a little english. Fortunately there was a kurdish-speaking employee who could translate and we got one or the other answer we could use. In the remaining time we talked by using Google Translator. This would have made a good movie on its own!
Finally we felt we had enough film and photo material to work with, so on the fourth day we started looking it through and especially listened to the interview. We took out all the interesting sentences and arranged them into a narrative.
After four long days of editing we were rewarded with a family portrait that we both thought represents the family pretty well.
It was a delicate matter to find music which emphasizes the right thing at the right moment. Our different thoughts on the message of the movie made it difficult to decide but in the end we were able to find one that fits (but only when not played too loud!)
One of the final tasks were the subtitles, every single sentence had to be translated. This was simple but time-consuming.
All in all the Moving Image workshop was intense, it was long, it was fun and most certainly worth every minute.
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