11/18/2018 15:00 – Caligari FilmBühne

Denmark/Canada 2018 89 min Arabic original version with German + English subtitles

by Christy Garland

Script: Christy Garland, DoP: Christy Garland, Hanna Abu Saada, Editor: Michael Aaglund, Production: Murmur Media, Final Cut for Real, Producers: Anne Köhncke, Matt Code, Christy Garland, Justine Pimlott, with: Walaa and her family

Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa dreams of being a policewoman, wearing a uniform, avoiding marriage, and earning a salary. Despite warnings that “no women should be in the army” and that she’ll bring shame on the family, she applies – and gets in. But her own rebellious behavior and a complicated relationship with her mother are a challenge, as are the circumstances under which she lives.

Following Walaa from 15 to 21, with an intimate POV and the exuberant energy of its subject, this first-ever look inside the Palestinian police academy brings us the story about a young woman navigating formidable obstacles, learning which rules to break and follow, and disproving the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.

Christy Garland, a director of award-winning documentaries and short films, lives and works in Toronto/Canada. Her films have been distributed worldwide and are characterised by ingenious dramatic structures, gripping character development and universally felt themes. THE BASTARD SINGS THE SWEETEST SONG was compared by the press to the work of Robert Bresson and the Dardenne brothers.

Filmography: 1998 BLIND SPOT, 1999 DEAR MR. NEWTON (both short films); THESE GOODS ARE MANUFACTURED, 2000 DUAL CITIZEN, 2008 DOORMAT (Co-Regie mit Susan Armstrong), 2012 THE BASTARD SINGS THE SWEETEST SONG, 2016 CHEER UP, 2018 WHAT WALAA WANTS

Awards: DGC Special Jury Prize (Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto/Canada 2018)

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