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The Dream of Shahrazad

The Dream of Shahrazad, looks at recent political events in Egypt and Turkey through the lens of the famous story collection known as the 1001 nights. At once observational documentary, concert film and political essay, it uses the metaphor of Shahrazad (the princess who saves lives by telling stories) to explore how creativity and political articulation coincide in response to oppression. A Turkish youth orchestra conductor uses Rimsky-Korsakov’s Shahrazad suite as a tool for political education. A young Lebanese actress reconciles her past by becoming an internet activist in Egypt. An older visual artist finds his “dream of Shahrazad” in the appearance of a beautiful young storyteller. An Alexandrian storyteller meets with the mothers of martyrs of the Revolution and turns their testimonies into new storytelling performances.

Director:  François Verster

Writer:  François Verster

(Co-)producers:  Volya Films, Middlewest Films, Melja Films, Hakkva Storytelling Network

Release Date: 2014

Partners: Netherlands Film Fund,The South African National Film & Video Foundation, The Sundance Documentary Fund, IDFA Bertha African Fund, European Union via the Hakkaya Regional Storytelling Network, CBA Worldview Broadcast Fund, Spier Film

Length: 107 minutes

Genre: Documentary

Director of photography: François Verster
Editor: François Verster, Menno Boerema, Peter Neal
Sound engineer: François Verster
Sound design:  Ranko Paukovic

Festivals: Durban International Film Festival 2015 | IDFA 2014 |

Awards: Best South African Documentary Award – Durban International Film Festival 2015

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