Nassim Amaouche

*1977, Sèvres, France. Lives and works in Paris, France.

Nassim Amaouche studied sociology at University of Paris, and then cinema at the Institut International de l’Image et du Son. He shot a first short documentary on the war photographer Marc Garranger and a short feature film De l’autre côté, his graduation film. His documentary Quelques miettes pour les oiseaux has been shown on festivals around the world: Cinéma du Réel and Biennale des Cinémas Arabes, Paris; Locarno Panorama at the Venice Film Festival, Onde Méditerranée, Berlinale, and many more. He won numerous prizes amongst: Prix Spécial Jury Cinéméd Montpellier (France), 1er Prix Ecrans Documentaires Festival Arcueil/Paris (France), Prix de la Presse Clermont-Ferrand (France), 1er Prix du documentaire (Milano), Prix du meilleur court métrage Arcipelago (Roma), Prix spécial du Jury Festival Silhouette du Court Métrage (Paris), Prix du Jury Institut du Monde Arabe, Prix Festival Vila de Conde (Portugal). 

Quelques miettes pour les oiseaux 1

Quelque miettes pour les oiseaux / France / 2005 / 28'30 / 4:3

Rwuasched, a no man's land at the border. A little village at the frontier of Jordan and Iraq, invaded yesterday by journalists, deserted since the downfall of Saddam Hussein. Between the dilapidated houses, an unending procession of lorries thunder by. It is here that some “birds of passage” coming from Syria or Palestine have elected to settle : Sami sells jerry cans of petrol on the sly, Amer keeps a hotel where very young prostitutes offer their services to long-distance lorry drivers. With subtle touches – scenes of daily gestures, make-up sessions for the girls, evenings filmed in ‘night shots’ where adolescents lead the men on – Quelques miettes pour les oiseaux depicts a fragile universe, where time seems to have suspended its flight. On the sound track, a Palestinian song with tragic under-tones recounts the problems and disappointments of a man in exile : the most beautiful of songs, according to Amer, because it speaks of solitude, imprisonment, but also of hope – and, perhaps, recounts their own life.

But this temporary survival is soon interrupted. The camera of Nassim Amaouche has attracted other more predatory birds : men from the authorities come to prevent the filming and direct the camera crew to tourist sites. After their visit, Sami’s little shop is closed, the hotel ransacked and turned upside down, the group of girls dispersed. A strange chronicle, that catches as if by unawares a few faces of a weakened population living on the margins of the conflicts in the Near East; an initiatory experience where the cinema becomes aware of its influence on reality.