Case Study: Who Am I?

This film explores the feeling of identity and belonging from the point of view of the young generation of Dutch people whose parents come from a different culture.

Rose Hanawi was born in 1987 with no nationality. She is a foreigner everywhere, since she has also been a refugee, exiled, sheltered, and nationalized. She has a Spanish nationality, but her parents are of Arab origins, also refugees, just like their grandparents. The identity conflict is her work topic and her constant search. Rose has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication, specialized in Audio-Visual Arts. After obtaining a Master’s degree in Arts from the Complutense University of Madrid in 2015 she began her trip around the world to investigate the identity question.

“After talking with locals I started to learn about the culture and life here in the Netherlands, and I learned about a very interesting reality: many of them consider themselves Allochtonen.”

Enriching encounters reveal an interesting reality

“I had the opportunity of working in a place with hundreds of people from very different origins, mixed, expats, and locals. I was very lucky to meet so many people and speak with them about everything. It was a very enriching experience. After talking with locals I started to learn about the culture and life here in the Netherlands, and I learned about a very interesting reality: many of them consider themselves Allochtoonen. I was curious to know more about it so I started to dive in that direction and learn more about their feelings. I found it very interesting and I could somehow identify with the feeling they describe, so I had the necessity of filming it.”

Challenging questions

“I asked the people if they would repeat the same things in front of a camera, they said yes, so I started filming. I had my questions written, but I also asked other questions depending on the direction the conversation was going. Some people found the questions very challenging, as a lot of them did not ask themselves these things before. Questions related to identity and cultural clash.”

Language difficulties

“I shot the interviews during two months. The editing was the hard part because of the language. They were answering my questions in Dutch, as I requested, while I asked them in English. My Dutch language level is basic, so for the editing process I needed the help of a Dutch friend to translate, and of an English friend to check the translations.”

Keeping it as short as possible

“I had no fundings and I worked by myself, with my own equipment. The first version after editing was too long, so I had to reedit many times to cut a lot of things and questions that I consider interesting. But the nature of the format requires shortness, so I kept it as short as I could.”

About the distribution and a lesson learned

“I am very proud to say that the project has been selected by festivals nationally and internationally, and still going. It had a first screening at Grrl haus Cinema in Rotterdam with a longer version. The official Premiere was at Shortcutz Amsterdam Film Festival, and at Viva Film Festival in Sarajevo.”

“My only tip for directors is do, and keep doing.”

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