Fiction, director: Ali Cherri, Sudan/France/Serbia/Germany, 2022, 84 min., Arab. with En. ST
Maher (Maher El Khair) works in a brickyard in northern Sudan near the Merowe Dam. In the evenings, he sets out into the desert to build a mysterious structure out of mud, while further south in the country, the Sudanese people are revolting against Al-Bashir’s dictatorship. Far from this turmoil, surrounded by a high-tech dam and the banks of the Nile, Maher re-establishes a spiritual connection with his environment. Gradually his work begins to take on a life of its own. The Dam is a poetic film interweaving the portrayal of the brickmakers’ lives with stunning shots of the Sudanese desert and accents of magical realism. The film premiered during the Director’s Fortnight section of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. It is Lebanese director Ali Cherri’s feature debut and the third part of a trilogy dealing with “geographies of violence”.