Adil and Sami are brothers. Under the large black mirrors dominating the set, they clean and talk. It’s their last night as cleaners in an Amsterdam red light district brothel. Tomorrow they return to Iraq for a final farewell to their mother, who recently passed away. As Adil and Sami discuss, we go back in time with them. For five years, without papers, after their flight from Iraq, they had to adapt to this new country. Sami dreams of embracing the Western way of life, especially its festive dimension and free morality. Adil, for his part, has lost his illusions about Europe. Nostalgic for family ties and the sense of the collective he knew in his homeland, he finds solace in religious practice. This night rekindles antagonisms, confronts Western and Eastern values, questions the roots, looks back on the exclusion experienced in recent years.
In this cultural and religious confrontation, against a backdrop of internal conflict and biblical references, Raphael Rodan (1980, Israel) and Sahand Sahebdivani (1980, Iran) show a sense of narration that so effectively animated My Father Held a Gun. Through skillful storytelling, they offer a device that plays with clichés and in which fiction feeds on reality.