Germany, Gabon, 2020, 16'
SCREENING FOR SCHOOLS
Hanan accompanies her little brother Sidar to a swimming class for children, so that he learns to float in the water without sinking, precisely the way a seahorse does. Under Hanan’s desire to make sure that Sidar can swim lies the memory of a traumatic experience they had, and an indelible one: in 2015, they left Syria with their family to flee from Daesh and crossed the open sea on a boat driven by a smuggler. There were 50 adults and 8 children. Hanan imagined the journey would be easy, but the waves soon stormed the boat and the dark, impenetrable blue of the sea and its ominous noise swallowed them, scared of falling and drowning, she who wouldn’t be able to swim. They survived by sheer chance, but they made it. Once in Germany, Hanan decided to become a swimming instructor. initially, facing the pool water was not easy, because it reminded her of the stormy sea and terror of drowning. Step by step, however, learning to swim was the way that finally liberated her from the paralyzing fear and protected her brother from the nightmare of this memory.