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Samouni Road Image

Samouni Road

La strada dei Samouni

Impact | VIFF Impact

Stefano Savona’s film is an essential act of inquiry and documentation, but perhaps the highest of its many virtues is its compassion. The director portrays a hideous act of war—Israel’s 2009 massacre in Gaza—and the effect it has had on one extended family. Twenty-nine members of the Samouni family lost their lives in the slaughter; Savona interviews and observes the surviving members of the clan in the wake of their tragedy. Interspersed with this footage is the unspeakable brought to life through animation: in black and white, we see members of the family before and during the massacre, as well as recreated Israeli drone footage based on testimony and documentation.

Under the direction of animator Simone Massi, the calm before the attack is rendered as a time of tranquility, and the attack itself a nightmare of panic, confusion and violence. Sharp creases cross the human figures and surrounding objects, and the movement is halting; the overall feel is of a dream vividly recalled and etched before memory can fade. It’s the subjective side of the story to complement the real-life testimonies; together, the two elements work to produce a vital human document.

"Its success at showing real lives unfathomably impacted by barbarism is beyond dispute."—Jay Weissberg, Variety

North American premiere
Director Stefano Savona
Country of Origin: France/Italy
Year: 2018
Running Time: 129 mins
Format: DCP
Language:In Arabic, Hebrew with English subtitles
Related Links: Clip 1 | Clip 2 | Clip 3 | Clip 4 | Variety Review
Producer: Penelope Bortoluzzi, Marco Alessi, Cécile Lestrade
Screenwriter: Stefano Savona, Léa Mysius, Penelope Bortoluzzi
Cinematographer: Stefano Savona
Editor: Luc Forveille
Music: Giulia Tagliavia
Art Director: Simone Massi
Production Company: Picofilms, Alter Ego Production, Dugong Films
Print Source: Doc & Film International


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