Experiencing Interruptions?

Gateway to the past

A documentary screenplay synopsis
By Ammar Alabdalrzaq

After five years of being forced to leave his country, Omar decides to go back looking for his shiny past which turns out later it’s not in the historic places neither in the house where he grew up and saw his father being killed in front. The gateway to his past is his mother.

Omar is a young film student and a singer lives in Istanbul. After five years of being abroad he decides to go back to his country for shooting his graduation project. However, he wants to search for his past, memories, asks some questions about his earlier life. He thinks going back to where he lives his entire life is the place for his answers.
One of the main issues he rises is his name, Mohamed, Omar then Ammar. When, how and why he has three names? In Baghdad we see the only place he can visit in Iraq after five years. Almutanabbi Street which is full of history and memory of the whole country, with its most popular café in Iraq Alshabander café and what people do there.
At some point he realizes that this is not the place where he can finds the answers of his questions. It is an old places but I does not have his past and memory. He asks himself “is this place and photos are the gateway to my past?” It’s his mom who lives in Turkey, Kirsehir, the gateway of his past and memories. She gives him information about his name issue (Mhammed, Omar, and Ammar) and then she speaks about the most beautiful photos of his past as she mentioning, which takes us to hear from her about his father the one with the wonderful smiling in the photo. Here, comes the most dramatic moments between our narrator and his mother when she starts to remember his father who was killed back in Iraq and this is the main reason why they left Iraq and why they cannot go back.
The most visible scene that we keep see the narrator in, through his all journeys and stations is the sea. The film starts with the narrator in the see throwing photos, him moving between Baghdad and Istanbul like if he is dreaming. It’s the sea again in the ending scene with the photos we see in the first scene underwater moving slowly.

  • Ammar Alabdalrzaq
  • Ammar Alabdalrzaq
  • Ammar Alabdalrzaq
  • Haifaa Abduraheem, Mohamed Alkhashaly
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    documentary, drama
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 30, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Iraq, Turkey
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ammar Alabdalrzaq

Ammar Alabdalrzaq known as Omar Alazzawi, Iraqi living in Istanbul. A director and scriptwriter of (Gateway to the past). Graduated from Cinema and TV department in 2019.

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Director Statement

My very interesting life was the biggest motivation behind making this film which i believe it will transfer my story beyond the borders.