• TIFF Bell Lightbox (map)
  • 350 King St W
  • Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3X5
  • Canada

Western Arabs

September 22
Starting at: 1:20 PM

80 mins
Omar Shargawi
2019 - Denmark

Western Arabs is a raw and deeply personal documentary of a complicated father-son relationship set in Copenhagen. Director Omar Shargawi wants to better understand his father Munir, a Palestinian who reluctantly left Palestine and settled in Denmark in the 1960s. Despite marrying a Danish woman and raising their three sons in the city, Munir still feels unsettled. Similarly, Omar grew up feeling like an outsider - not Danish enough but also not Palestinian enough. Moreover, the traumas of war and expulsion have been passed down from father to sons, revealing themselves in their dysfunctional relationships with each other, including aggressive outburst. Omar, himself a father, does not want to replicate these painful relationships with his daughter and sets out to break the cycle.

Shot over a period of twelve years, this film is an unsparing examination of the immigrant experience and its impact on shaping these men's lives. The film captures the good and bad times within this close-knit family, as well as scenes from Shargawi's feature films, where he casts his father in different roles and gives him the words he wishes he would hear.

North American Premiere


European Union Film Festival