YIDFF 2017 New Asian Currents
This Little Father Obsessio
An Interview with Selim Mourad (Director)

I Must Love Others As Father Loved Me

Q: There is a scene where you are touching your father’s face while filming with the camera. What were you trying to express here?

SM: That’s my favorite part. Just before this, there is a scene where an elderly person touches my face. Unlike that scene, the scene where I touch my father’s face has us physically closer to one another, expressing our love. It’s not about creating an awkward atmosphere where one is unsure whether or not to touch the other, but rather, a scene where I feel the person I love. While there are problems in my family, we express our love through this scene.

Q: Was the white, soft scene also influenced by that?

SM: For this scene, I used two cameras. The one I had been holding had had its shutter set for very bright images, though I had not originally planned it. However, when I looked at the footage from the two cameras afterwards, I felt that it was really great that they were at completely different levels of brightness. Also, I felt that the white light represented happy times. The two of us spoke of things close to our hearts. When I was shooting that scene, I had just lost my lover and was very depressed, but my parents’ words really comforted me.

Q: What does a father mean to you?

SM: Whenever I hear the word “father,” I get very emotional. My father gave me a lot of love. He spent a lot of time with me, often taking me out to play, or going to the movies with me. At times, I think of my father’s death, and I feel so sad. My love for my father runs deep.

In the Christian tradition, the father carries the image of God. When I pray to God, I see God as a father. In the scene showing my father’s love, as soon as my father tells me that he loves me, I felt like the whole world loved me. All I can do now is to treat those who love me with love, as my father did. From my experiences, my father was a great man.

Q: Did anything happen during filming that really stuck with you?

SM: I met a lot of people through the film. My mother told me, “I dreamed about a party at our house, where so many people were dancing.” When I heard that, I really did call many people over to our house and had a party. Our house, which usually had no more than 3 people living in it, became this really fun space with 200 people, all dancing, kissing, and getting drunk. When I was filming that scene, I thought that this had never happened before, and will probably never happen again, so I stopped filming and danced with everyone.

(Compiled by Matsuguchi Haruka)

Interviewers: Matsuguchi Haruka, Takahashi Asuka / Interpreter: Song Ryun / Translator: Joelle Tapas
Photography: Nagayama Momo / Video: Nakane Wakae / 2017-10-08