At the heart of the saga - the Dubai debacle. (Nouriel Roubini)
Once the manic burst of building has stopped and the whirlwind has slowed, the secrets of Dubai are slowly seeping out. This is a city built from nothing in just a few wild decades on credit and ecocide, suppression and slavery. Dubai is a living metal metaphor for the neoliberal globalized world that may be crashing - at last - into the sands.
"The thing you have to understand about Dubai is - nothing is what it seems, nothing. This isn't a city, it's a con-job. They lure you in telling you it's one thing - a modern kind of place - but beneath the surface it's a medieval dictatorship." (Huffington Post)
Dubai or Palestine, Hanoi or Dubai: this film shows how wrong this antithesis is.
This film is searching for a new topography.
This film is a metaphore, a displacement, a shift where territories are marked, where things are seen, where they are given names and meaning. In this sense, the metaphoric task of cinema can be seen as subverting a previous metaphorical order, namely the official mapping of space and time. An order that defines places, that defines what has to be seen and done in those places, the way they are inhabited, their capacities and incapacities.
Tthe constructed picture of poverty and disgrace tends to take the edge of reality and should be preserved from any form of
aesthetisation. Otherwise we make them acceptable and attractive.
Fiction and beauty should be the part of the rich, dull reality and the objectivity of the documentary look the part of the poor.
Slowing down has been connotated with the art and festival film genre. But the necessity and capacity of slowing down, the capacity of contemplation belongs to all situations and to the life of anybody.
The differences of rhythm are not mere artistic devices. They belong to the very possibility of the archipelago. They belong to the life of a land, which combines a multiplicity of values, of fast and slow speed, short and long distances, a multiplicity of forms of articulation.
The topic of immigration is deliberately made abstract. It's pulled away from the ordinary plot of origin and distinction, of poverty, archaism, tradition and religion. It's only a matter of staying or leaving, a matter of lines and space. The politics of the film are constituted by it's tension of two movements, two ways of going over spaces. On one hand, there is a slow movement, step by step, the attempt to reconstruct a common land by joining the lines and spaces. On the other hand, there is this abstract drawing of a radical line of flight or rupture.
The film proposes politics that could be put as follows: let us just look at who we are and where we are.
We have to reframe our community beyond the official scenarios about the third world, emerging countries, neo-colonialism, liberalisation, modernisation etc.