Gold - a prize winning short film by Abbe Hassan at Fotografiska
Abbe Hassan 23 May–27 June
Fotografiska is now showing the award-winning short film Gold, about a young girl who in the midst of war-torn Syria finds a gold necklace. A find that triggers a chain of events with unexpected consequences. The film is written and directed by Abbe Hassan and is based on his personal experience.
“War brings out the worst and the best in people. War doesn’t make people generous, but brings out the generosity found in good people.” Two sentences that can be said to sum up the experience which resulted in the short film Gold and its story about Amal, written and directed by Abbe Hassan. Amal and her sisters live in a bomb shelter in war-torn Syria. Food and water are scarce. One day, when Amal is outside playing, she finds a piece of gold. Other people immediately claim the gold as theirs.
With a run time of about 15 minutes, this short is showing at Fotografiska from 23 May to 27 June 2018. This is the film that won Best Live-Action Short Film at the prestigious TIFF Kids International Film Festival in Toronto. The jury’s statement:
“Director Abbe Hassan has crafted a shattering look at the resilience and fragility of childhood with his film GOLD. Hassan shows us a world in which both lives and morals exist on a razor’s edge, and in doing so taps into his audience’s empathy in a masterful way. Amidst a very tragic event, we saw life and love and the strength of strong relationships in this heart-breaking film.”
“This story is inspired by something that happened to me during the war in Beirut. I found a gold chain and was incredibly happy, now I could help my mother. But instead I was accused of being a thief and a lady claimed that it was hers. My mother gave in and gave it to her. That situation changed my life, nothing was safe anymore. Everyone was suddenly a threat. I was angry and sad. How could the lady we knew so well lie like that? Why did mum give in to her? Mum was always kind and nice to people. Why?” says Abbe Hassan, writer and director of Gold.
Hassan describes how during the war he and his family spent a lot of time in bomb shelters and sometimes it felt like a living hell. But somehow, they never lost hope.
“Or our mother never let us children believe that there was no hope. Today she tells us that seeing us playing and smiling kept her alive and today I know that her hopefulness and acts of kindness towards others kept us alive.”
In the roles of Amal and her sisters we see Narin, Cedra and Sherin, three sisters who moved to Sweden from Aleppo, Syria, in 2014. Since then, they’ve become big YouTubers with hundreds of thousands of followers all over the world. ‘Gold’ is their film debut. The three sisters will also take on the leading roles in Hassan’s upcoming feature film.
Facts about writer and director Abbe Hassan: Born in Beirut, Lebanon, but moved to Älvsbyn in northern Sweden at the age of 7. Hassan has written and directed several short films. In 2016, he produced the critically acclaimed film ‘A Hustler’s Diary’. He’s now working on his first feature-length film as director.