Crossroads, croos roots

Garance and Kami met recently in NY and got into a romantic relationship. Garance is a Parisian girl with Jewish roots, Kami is Roman, with Palestinian roots. Both of them want
to know more about their origin. Somehow, the paths of their families are mixed and they look at the same direction. Garance is about to go to Israel, thanks to an organization that offers free tours to any Jew, whereas Kami was recently denied to enter by Israeli Security trying to visit Palestine, from where his family was expelled ending up in a refugee camp. He can’t accept Garance’s privilege, who doesn't have any direct link with that land. The tension increases, but Garance has a dream: she is in Lodz, her Grandparents’ hometown, from where her family was deported to Auschwitz. Her Grandfather asks her to find his grave and honor it to find peace. This time, Kami can go with her. Adventures, exchange and liberating rituals will fill that trip across Europe, from Rome to Lodz by car, leading them stuck by night in a jewish cemetery. Right then and there, they will be able to see things clearer.

  • kamikairy fares
  • kamikairy fares
  • kamikairy fares
  • kamikairy fares
    Key Cast
  • garance choko
    Key Cast
  • ghassan fares
    Key Cast
  • isabelle choko
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
  • Country of Filming:
    Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, United States
  • Language:
    English, French, Italian, Polish, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
    Full HD, Canon 100
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - kamikairy fares

Kami Fares is an Italian-Palestinian visual storyteller. He has a degree in Cinema at the University of Rome, a degree as Director at ACT in Cinecittà, Rome and in Documentary at the New York Film Academy. 
He wins the Marzocco Price with the short movies “Innocenze perdute”, where he is the screenwriter, and then it is among the finalist 12 short movies at Nastri d’Argento '12. He has realized reports and documentaries about immigration, refugees, jail, mental health, street children, etc. After the doc "MinoTawra: exporting change”, which wins the Prime Prize at Lampedusa Festival, he makes also video reports with the press:, RSI, RAI, BBC, Il FattoQuotidiano...
Thanks to an investigative reports, he wins the Bronze Medal of President of Republic Senate. He is one of the founder of a new itinerant Cinema Festival, Nazra FF. 
Right now, he’s mainly working on the realization of two Docs: one is set in the main women’s maximum security prison of Rome, Rebibbia, another doc on the life in Chatila refugee camp during the UNRWA crisis and, at the same time, he is working as videomaker and director for Condè Nast Italia (Vanity Fair, Vogue, Glamour, GQ, Wired) in Milan.

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Director Statement

The movie tells of a journey leading to the discovery of two different identities, apparently distant from one another, yet deeply tied by a continuous exchange. At the basis of the story, lays the need of the two main characters Kami (born of Palestinian father) and Garance (of Jewish origin) to face their personal and inherited traumas. This movie is also about their love story; one that meets, crashes and confronts a History larger than themselves. The paths of their two families are mixed by causes, effects, narration and a collective imaginary. They are representative of something bigger.
The journey which the two characters embark on leads to Garance’s opportunity to face the monsters, caused by her grandma’s stories, that have tormented her since childhood- by acquiring a real vision of them, the ghosts will no longer haunt her. The trip reveals a different side of her family story, a story that came after “her” story and yet is intertwined with it; a story that , involves other families, a whole people indeed, through a series of injustices and traumatic repercussions. On the other side, Kami is fighting to repossess his own gaze, beyond a mere sense of belonging and in order to find in that people, the Jewish family of Garance, something of his own family story, rather than just a cause for the disgraces inflicted upon his own family. The movie does not wish to come through with the naive claim that love wins over all. Rather, it aims at analyzing the complexity of the topic through a cinematic and emotional language. The movie seeks to develop an original point of view on the topic through alive scenes, dialogues and development of the plot. In fact, rather than the problem itself, hatred is seen as the outcome of a unfair reality where identities are constructed and shaped by complex cultural and political discourses. What is commonly understood and framed as hatred inherent to the Jews-Arab relation, is instead the product of political and cultural practices that affect the collectivities and the individuals in everyday choices. The movie in this sense aims at disclosing how this “hegemonic” cultural and political discourses operate, construct and perpetrate this specific understanding of identity and how this impacted the relationship between Kami and Garance, a Palestinian and a Jew in diaspora. While the movie does not want to be a political documentary, it attempts to unpack the role of broad political dynamics in the personal relationship of the two protagonists. The personal and the collective remain connected. Only the willingness to undertake a journey through history, a journey that allows a honest confrontation with the “other” as well as with the self, and to perform a radical change by repositioning justice at the heart of any analysis, will allow the protagonists to find themselves and to overcome the tension that characterizes the relationship.
Fair conditions, social equality, the recognition of the injustice inherent to their history and a dignified life guaranteed to all would lead ti a new understanding. The movie is set in several countries: the US (New York), Italy, Austria, Czech Republic and Poland. The languages spoken are mainly English and Spanish, but there are also parts spoken in Italian, French and Polish. This is the first version and still a rough cut. The story comes from a curious combination of narrative elements which led me to be able and to want to tell it despite several practical consequences. Being author, director, maker and protagonist entails limits regarding the movie’s language but also a challenge and, surely, experimental, irregular and unexpected working condition, like working with no one except me as troupe. On one hand that was a personal choice, as I did not want to alter the natural atmosphere I was sharing with Garance in that particular time and situation. I knew that touch could have given strength to dramaturgic flow. On the other hand, it was a forced choice because of economic and time issue. Anyway, it was not easy to manage but it was also compelling being on both side so that I could mix codes and roles, formal and informal, trying to keep a proper movie’s balance. Since this movie has been totally independent and self-produced so far, all the work has been based only on my energy and gaze, and since the story is also my personal own story, with its logical implication, I deeply feel the requirement of external and qualified feedbacks, contributions and points of view. That’s why your call and your audience is what I need right
now. Besides, this is the right stage to involve and to create a suitable productive environment to assure the movie of its own path once it will be realized, in order to give it as much visibility and opportunity as possible. I see Palestine Film Institute’s network as a springboard to open a new chapter of this work to accomplish the post production at its best and to find new prospective and chances about production and distribution. Moreover, I still have some intuition and ideas about additional narrative levels or visual solutions which could be insert into the final cut and that I would like to talk to your environment. Some scenes are still totally temporary and in progress.