A Hundred Soldiers Somersaulting

This film attempts to draw a messy and complex narrative into focus using existing archival footage, and in doing so perhaps bring forth some questions on whether a consistently threatened nation should focus on peaceful diplomatic efforts, strengthen its military, or both.

  • Aseel AlYaqoub
    Editor
  • Franco Caviglia
    Sound
  • Nancy Konkar
    Translation
  • Aseel AlYaqoub
    Animation
  • Nikola Bilanovic
    Animation
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Feature, Short
  • Genres:
    Art, Documentary
  • Runtime:
    43 hours 14 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 14, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Kuwait
  • Country of Filming:
    Kuwait
  • Language:
    Arabic, English
  • Aspect Ratio:
    4:3
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography

Aseel AlYaqoub (b.1986) was born and raised in Kuwait. She studied at the AA School of Architecture (London) and graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design with a BA in Interior and Spatial Design (London, 2009). After 4-years in the architecture industry, AlYaqoub pursued a Master in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute, specialising in sculpture and video (New York, 2015).

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Director Statement

This film is an accumulation of found footage gathered over the span of four years with a focus on Kuwait's diplomatic history and military developments. Combining archive documentary material with interviews, newsreels, political cartoons and plays, the film questions our national collective memory by spewing grainy library footage onto the screen to a soundtrack of music by classical composers and local singers such as Sergei Prokofiev and Abdullah AlRuweished.

Starting from 1961 and ending with a recent dramatic regional event, fifty-nine years of Kuwait's documented history is condensed into forty-five minutes. Through a compulsive and chronological summary of a small nation-state, it becomes evident that Kuwait has continuously been facing tentative threats since its independence. Its foreign diplomatic achievements are compared in parallel to its military enhancement to contemplate whether a nation should focus on peaceful diplomatic efforts, strengthen its military, or both. ‘A Hundred Soldiers Somersaulting’ does not offer a compelling political vision for the future of Kuwait or the region, nevertheless, it attempts to draw a messy and complex narrative into focus.