Fragments of War and Animation: Dahna Abourahme’s Kingdom of Women and Soudade Kaadan’s Damascus Roofs: Tales of Paradise

In: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
Stefanie Van de Peer University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK, Email:

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In this article, the author addresses the meaning of animated fragments in documentary films. She analyzes a Syrian and a Lebanese film, and illustrates the role and function of the hybrid form as a means through which women are now able to express themselves. Dahna Abourahme’s film Ein El Hilweh: Kingdom of Women (Lebanon, 2010) and Soudade Kaadan’s film Damascus Roofs: Tales of Paradise (Syria, 2010) are used as recent examples of documentaries addressing taboo issues by way of animated fragments. The author places these films in the wider context of the contemporary developments in animation in the Middle East, paying special attention to women’s contributions in the field. Both documentaries use animation not only for aesthetic appeal but also to enhance understanding and deepen engagement with topics and events that are necessarily situated beyond the knowledge and experience of a transnational audience. The author contends that animation creates a different film experience, and the audience must deal with the seduction of the animation.

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