Entrevista à documentarista Jihan El-Tahri
Publicado17 Nov 2014
Jihan El-Tahri é uma reconhecida documentarista libanesa, que começou a carreira como jornalista de televisão, cobrindo o conflito do Médio Oriente. Mais tarde, dedicou-se aos documentários, tendo produzido filmes para a BBC inglesa, a PBS americana e a televisão francesa. The House of Saud, The Price of Aid, vencedor de um prémio europeu de documentário em 2004, e Cuba: An African Odyssey estão entre os seus trabalhos mais conhecidos. De 2009, Behind the Rainbow, é uma análise da transição democrática na África do Sul. Actualmente, a realizadora está a preparar um filme de 3 horas, com o título provisório Egypt’s Modern Pharaohs, e é autora dos livros The 9 Lives of Yasser Arafat e Israel and the Arabs: the 50 Years War . Em entrevista ao site Africaisacountry, Jihan El-Tahri falou do seu percurso profissional.
What is your first film memory?
I actually remember watching Shadi Abdel Salam’s The Mummy at a hotel screening in London when my family moved there. I was around 5 and I knew I was Egyptian and the mummy terrified me but got me very curious. I remember the lighting of the film until today. It made these ancient stories so real and timeless.
Why did you decide to become a filmmaker?
I started off as a journalist because I truly believed that journalism is the first draft of history and if done properly it could actually change the world. Young and idealistic I thought I could change the world single handedly … Alas, the Gulf war of 1990 was a rough wakeup call. It is then that I realized that I needed to reassess many things, including my own identity and what stories were important for me to engage in. I finally realized that I could only tell one story at a time if I wanted to do it properly. Documentary was the obvious choice. I made numerous “observational” films but that still was not satisfying. Then one day I was hired to work with a company in the UK and they gave me their last film series to watch: Death of Yugoslavia. A 7-hour series that I stayed up all night watching. There and then I decided that that was the kind of documentary filmmaking I wanted to pursue.