He swirls and soars high above in the sky, in a blood-red flowing robe, to throbbing, pulsating music, his sinews taut, his eyes dreamy, every cell in his body in motion. Mohammad dances like a man possessed with the sky as his stage. This is his fantasy world. In real, Mohammed is a Syrian crane operator at a construction site in Lebanon, like hundreds of others in punishing, inhuman conditions. The stunning 15-minute short film Warsha by Lebanese filmmaker Dania Bdier, a Sundance prizewinner and festival favourite since its release in 2022 explores the lives of Syrians in Lebanon and the ravages of war. In an exclusive interview, Bdier talks about how all films from the Arab world are political. Edited excertps:
You were born to Syrian parents and grew up in Beirut. How does this heritage influence your work?