My wife and I had an opportunity to watch a recent Zürich Film Festival screening of Lamya’s Poem. It was featured under ZFF für Kinder section. Unfortunately, our six-year old son missed the screening, and at the end of the movie, we felt for a brief moment, “would it have been ok to showcase some disturbing aspects of the refugee crisis to a six-year-old?”
That got me thinking, if we are contemplating shielding our child from few of the scenes, what must be going through the minds of thousands of parents who are left with no options but to face them every day, having no control over the outcome?
Think again, introspect, before moving ahead to read more.
The movie’s premise is set in 2016 amidst the ongoing Syrian civil war, where Lamya, a young girl, makes peace with her inner fantasy life with the chaos around her life. This animated movie starts off slowly, with fireflies taking us in on a journey into Lamya’s world, her inner world, inviting us to partake, experience along with her.
What would her inner world be like? What comforts her? What keeps her going?
Unlike most kids of today’s generation, it isn’t video games or social media. Instead, the words of the 13th-century Persian, Jalaal ad-din, more famously known as, Rumi fuel her fantasy, and in a way, gives her a purpose.
The screenplay for stitching the three-story angle has been well-thought-out. Lamya’s real life and her escape from Syria to Europe; Rumi’s real-life struggles and his self-realisation as he escapes from the invading Mongols; and the fantasy world of Lamya, where these two meet, share a journey, a dream, importantly a hope to overcome the adversities.
There are many Lamyas in this world in different war-torn areas, seeking comfort with words and hope to live the lives many countries are blessed with. And, there are literature from hundreds and thousands of years whose words are filled with life and remain relevant across generations.
A glimpse of the movie can be seen here –