Auf dem Weg draws the two paths of the lives of Aryo Gharabatti from Iran and Mohamad Najjar from Syria and of their encounter in southern German city of Pforzheim. Accompanying both protagonists in their current everyday lives until their encounter in the park, while them, simultaneously telling us in such an intimate way about their past, shapes the two life journeys, both narratively and visually, as the films leitmotiv.
The film arose within the cross-cultural project „Pforzheim – Die Mischung macht’s 2017“ being one of eight short documentaries produced by different filmmakers. To each single film there was one dedicated premiere night. Auf dem Weg premiered on the 20th August 2017 at Kommunales Kino Pforzheim followed by a talk and discussion moderated by head of the project Mirzeta Haug. The protagonists and I together we discussed aspects of the film in detail and answered the audiences questions. There was a great public reception of the film and the protagonists stories behind. Another event concluded the entire project by leading together all of the filmmakers involved. You can get a DVD with all of the short films on one disk.
Without exaggerating one can state that the life of Aryo Gharabatti is very moving. In 1990 he and his parents escaped from Iran to Germany. But the journey lead them on to England, later to America. With 17 years of age Aryo Gharabatti decided to return to Germany. Coming to Pforzheim he completed an apprenticeship in system catering and established his new life. He and his coworkers they are a good team. Also he is voluntarily committed to the Stadtjugendring and meets his girlfriend.
Mohamad Najjar arrived in Pforzheim in autumn of 2015. Back then he already went through a long journey leading him through Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia und Hungary by bus and train. „There it was dangerous“ says the 22-year-old Mohamad, who escaped from his hometown Aleppo together with his friend and his family. Latter ones are living in Sweden today. Mohamad Najjar stayed and settled down in Pforzheim. He works at Kaiser Metalle, is recognized as a refugee and he learned to do the cooking aswell.
Director, Producer and Editor Timo Dannenhauer | Cinematographer Julian Meinhardt
22“ | 1.85:1 | Germany | 2017