Purple Sea


Date: 19 May 2023
Venue: Barbican, Cinema 2
Beech StreEt, London, EC2Y 8DS
Time: 18:15
Tickets: £13 + Booking Fee
Wheelchair accessible

Event Info

dir. Amel Alzakout and Khaled Abdulwahed, 2020, 67′ + Screentalk

The haunting documentary composed of footage filmed on a wrist camera, when a boat on the Mediterranean Sea carrying 300 people begins to sink.

Escaping war in Syria, artist Amel Alzakout and 300 others were forced to cross the Mediterranean Sea on a smugglers’ boat. Half-way to reaching the coast of Lesbos, the boat sank. Her waterproof camera, strapped to her wrist, intended to document the journey, recorded an atrocity.

Muffled images, saturated by the brilliant sun tell a story of emergency. Amel’s poetic narration throughout the film leads us into the stream-of-consciousness, questioning her surrounding reality, and aiding her survival. Floating between borders with no welcome, forty-two people lost their lives in this tragedy.

This session will be followed by a screen talk with Amel Alzakout and Khaled Abdulwahed, directors of Purple Sea.

Amel Alzakout

Born 1988 in Syria, Amel Alzakout is an artist and film maker based in Leipzig. Between 2010 and 2013 she studied journalism at Cairo University, Egypt. In 2017 she participated with other artists in the video installation TRUST US in the 3rd Herbstsalon at the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin. Between 2017 and 2018 she studied art at Weißensee Art Academy in Berlin, currently she is studying media art at the Academy of visual art (HGB) in Leipzig, Germany. In 2018 she won together with her co-director Khaled Abdulwahed the Film Prize for International Cooperation Germany/Arab World by the Robert Bosch Foundation with the feature length film PURPLE SEA produced by pong film. It’s her first directing.

Khaled Abdulwahed

Born 1975 in Syria, Khaled Abdulwahed is an artist, photographer and filmmaker based in Leipzig. Between 1996 and 2000 he studied Fine Arts and Graphic Design at Adham Ismail art school in Damascus, Syria and at Frederick University in Nicosia, Cyprus. Between 2002 and 2008 he exhibited his artworks in the Middle-east and Europe. Between 2011 and 2013 he directed and produced video artworks which were screened in many art spaces, festivals, universities and TV channels over the world. In 2015 he was invited to Berlinale Talents. In 2018 his short film BACKYARD celebrated its world premiere and won the CNAP (National Centre for Visual Arts) award at FID Marseille.