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Mesocafe

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John Batten

Synopsis

With its Arab, Assyrian, Jewish and Kurdish heritage, the Iraqi community of London forms a backdrop for the story of Bisan and Yusif as they negotiate a courtship in the run-up to the 2003 war.

Yusif is an underground blogger opposing the regime of Saddam Hussain from within Iraq. He arrives in London in February 2003 with a view to helping highlight the brutality of this regime and the painful consequences upon the Iraqi nation of UN imposed economic sanctions. He dreams of a liberated homeland. Yusif's short stay in London brings him into contact with an array of individuals from the vibrant community: There is Zaynab - owner of Mesocafe and purveyor of advice for marriage and love, and for work and business. There is Tawfiq, a young Iraqi refugee spending the little money he has on phone cards calling his wife in Syria; there is Suad, a successful PR executive unable to come to terms with the death of her young husband at the end of the 1991 war; and there is the beautiful Bisan who, in between translating books from Arabic to English, relives her childhood memories Iraq.

Details

Year
2010
Type of film
Features
Running Time
100 mins
Format
Super 16mm
Director
Ja'far 'Abd al-Hamid 1st Feature
Producer
Paul Hills
Co-Producer
Paul Hills
Editor
Schuman Hoque
Screenwriter
Ja'far 'Abd al-Hamid
Director of Photography
Alessio Valori
Production Designer
Daniel Nussbaumer
Sound
Axle Cheeng
Music
Natalie Holt
Principal Cast
Nasri Sayegh, Daphne Alexander, Ahlam 'Arab, Adam Dahrouge, Houda Echouafni, Zain al-Janabi, Khalid Laith, Andy Lucas, Raad Rawi, Kawa Rasul, Julian Boote

Genre