Based on true stories this short movie tells a story of life under dictatorship which can be anywhere and anytime.
A Syrian intellectual who was imprisoned for many years during the present regime and the previous one in Syria is the main character. One night while serving his unlimited period in prison he is asked by the prison warden to tell stories to a, for his surprise, five year old child in one of the neighbouring cells. There he meets the mother of the child who was as we later get to know raped, got pregnant by security officers during interrogation and gave birth to her daughter there.
DIRECTOR: Nasri Hajjaj
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Sebastian Thaler
PRODUCER: Kurt Mayer
SHOT ON: SONY F55 (RAW)
PRODUCTION: Kurt Mayer Film
CAST: Hassan Mrad, Reem Ali
"Lenser Sebastian Thaler, son of Ulrich Seidl’s regular cinematographer Wolfgang Thaler, lights and shoots with a crisp, limpid immediacy that makes him a talent to watch. His work gives even the simplest shot a vivid yet pensive effect, whether he’s filming a nightclub scene, a yoga routine, a wide shot of salmon-colored tower blocks in Kiev, or resting on one of the principals’ faces to catch their quicksilver expressions." by Jessica Kiang (view orginal critic)
"In a fragmentary film with few dialogues, in which much is not pronounced, the imagery takes over an important part of the narrative. In "Ugly", the audience is given a lot of space, in wide tableaus as well as in intensive close-ups. Through the symbiosis of spontaneous and unkitted, but at the same time highly composed images, the film develops a veritable pull that is difficult to avoid. Due to the variety of subjects, lighting scenes and compositions and the always surprising new perspectives, the film is always in motion despite its quiet narrative style." by Julia Drack, Michael Loebensetin & Holger Stern
Michael Ballhaus Awards:
"An intelligent and intuitive cameraman accompanies two outstanding actors, in long moving sequences, with an instinct for body language and facial expression" by the Jury of FIRST STEPS