Lebanon / UK, 2012 (MIFF 2013, A League of Their Own: New Arabic Cinema)

Director: Mahdi Fleifel

"Mahdi Fleifel's passionate, ironic, bittersweet A World Not Ours ... flips storytelling and Mideast-Arab cliches on their heads, while weaving an irresistible mood of amused melancholy." – Variety

Born in Dubai but raised in Denmark, director Mahdi Fleifel's upbringing involved frequent trips to see family and friends in a refugee camp in Lebanon that is home to 70,000 people, in an area roughly one square kilometre. He kept video diaries of his experiences in the camp over three decades, resulting in an incredible archive of footage.

Straddling two different kinds of privilege – on the one hand he has rare access that other filmmakers could never attain; on the other, he is able to leave whenever he wishes – Fleifel offers a multi-layered, personal portrait of life in the camp. With witty English commentary and a jazzy score, the film's tone is upbeat, offering a unique perspective on the plight of Palestinian refugees.

Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Documentary at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

D/S Mahdi Fleifel P Patrick Campbell WS MPM Film L Arabic, English w/English subtitles TD DCP/2012

See also...


Director Mahdi Fleifel reveals what has happened to his friend Abu Eyad since fleeing from Lebanon through to Greece, as depicted at the conclusion of his feature documentary A World Not Ours (MIFF 20... More »

A Drowning Man

The daily struggles of a Palestinian refugee living in Greece are dramatised by filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel, who has previously documented the experiences of refugees in A World Not Ours (MIFF 2013), Xeno... More »

A Man Returned

Reda lives in a Lebanese refugee camp, is addicted to heroin and is preparing to get married. Mahdi Fleifel (Xenos, MIFF 2014; A World Not Ours, MIFF 2013) returns with yet another stunning and pertin... More »


The first feature ever shot entirely inside Saudi Arabia, by the country's first female director, Wadjda is a boundary-pushing gem. ... Centred on the simple premise of a young girl who desperately wa... More »


"Stands out for its extraordinary use of space and time, fully grasping the emptiness of lost lives." – Variety ... The debut fiction feature from documentary filmmaker Hala Lotfy, Coming Forth by Day... More »


"Taut, engrossing ... it's hard to imagine any audience remaining unmoved." – Hollywood Reporter ... Ali Suliman (Paradise Now, MIFF 2005) stars as Amin, a highly successful Palestinian surgeon happil... More »

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