Xenos / A Man Returned
In 2010, Abu Eyad and other young Palestinian men from the Ain el-Helweh refugee camp in Lebanon travelled with smugglers through Syria and Turkey into Greece. Like so many other migrants, they came looking for a way into Europe but found themselves trapped in a country undergoing economic, political, and social collapse. Xenos (2013) is a short documentary blending footage shot on visits to Athens in 2011 with phone conversations recorded during Abu Eyad’s time there. It tells of his day-to-day struggle for survival and enduring sense of exile in a land of hope that has become a nightmare.
In A Man Returned (2016), Reda is 26 years old. His dreams of escaping the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain El-Helweh ended in failure after three years trapped in Greece. He returned with a heroin addiction to life in a camp being torn apart by internal strife and the encroachment of war from Syria. Against all odds, he decides to marry his childhood sweetheart; a love story, bittersweet as the camp itself.