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Yemen's Reluctant Revolutionary (McAllister, 2012) - #Berlinale 2012

A tour guide, living in Yemen is slowly warming to the revolution in his country.


McAllister's answer in the QA session was quite revealing: He builds his documentaries about specific characters he is looking for. There is a frankness in Keis' behavior that lets the filmmaker look at a pretty intimate level at the sarcastic tour guide, whose business is lost to the maelstrom of revolution, repression and kidnappings.

I was quite impressed by the film, but after leaving the cinema I found myself thinking about too many unanswered questions. I had the feeling that the filmmaker had a really hard time to get Keis' transformation across in the editing room - he just plays it too cool - and had to resort to pretty shocking pictures and some rather cutcutcut editing. The film seems to end a bit abrupt after Keis inner change. 

I was also wondering if the Khat that these people are endlessly chewing is some kind of 1984-ish downer to keep everybody happy, non-violent and complacent to a point, long surpassed.

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