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Neighbour Abdi


How can you understand a violent past? Somali-born Abdi is furniture designer and support worker. He reenacts his life, marked by war and criminality, with the help of his neighbour and filmmaker Douwe. Through playful reconstructions in a special effects studio, Abdi and Douwe embark on a candid and investigative journey through a painful history, focusing on the creative process throughout.

What might happen when we are given an opportunity to tell our own story and shape our own narrative? 

Abdi invites us into his moving yet complex story thus far, shaped by war, migration and criminalisation, as told through reenactment and the heavy utilisation of special effects.

We delve behind the scenes of Abdi’s life as well as the filmmaking process, separated and merged together by green screen, as the film jumps back and forth between visual and verbal storytelling methods.

As Abdi reflects on the decisions he has made and those that have been made for him, he bravely describes the peace he feels within his life - acknowledging through his words that we all contain many stories within ourselves, and the importance of embracing each part as a fragment of our journey. Play through creativity becomes a light way to discuss and recreate difficult topics, and shows us how powerful it can be to face ourselves directly and through collaboration. 

Natasha Thembiso Ruwona

Director filmography: Eine Sekunde in Fränkli (2022), Green Screen Gringo (2016), Voor Film (2015), Démontable (2014)

  • Director Douwe Dijkstra
  • Country Netherlands
  • Year 2022
  • Duration 29m
  • Scottish Premiere


Bill Douglas Award 6: Each their own frontiers

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