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Review: Jibril (2016)

Directed by: José Daniel Granados | 18 minutes | short film, drama | Actors: Gabriel Soler, Ikram Aoulad, Tom Magnus,

Art imitates life, and so cinema is inundated with films on the theme of refugees. You can choose from a wide range of documentaries or feature films every week. Filmmakers are far from tired of the subject – just like World II, for example – and the importance of these films is of course also great, because the problem remains urgent. has made a short with “Yibril” that takes a slightly different angle.

Spanish street artist Gabriel works in Brussels, but it is not an easy life. His work is hindered by the police who are after him – he is not licensed. He is therefore constantly on the lookout and has to pack his things very quickly to blend in with the crowd. Not an easy task, because you stand out with a face full of make-up. During one such moment when Gabriel is hiding from the police, he hears the ring of a telephone. The sound comes from a trash can and after some hesitation, the young man takes the call. On the other end of the line is a frightened-sounding girl or young woman asking for help. Initially, Gabriel does not feel like extra hassle and keeps the boat off. But of course he lets his heart speak and reconnects with the girl. Can he help her?

The contrast between the two has been made greater than it actually is by the camera lining. Gabriel roams the streets of Brussels freely, but is no more at home and safe there than the imprisoned Hala. It is easy to muster sympathy for both characters, but Hala’s scenes in particular break your heart, beautiful, because that happens without really getting a good picture of her. Captivating and poignant short by a talented young filmmaker.

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