Mo Harawe on „Will My Parents Come to See Me“ / interview

Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, he discovered his passion for cinema while attending a school of arts in his home country. Since 2009, he has lived in Austria. He is currently studying visual communication and filmmaking and has made short films which have screened and won awards at international film festivals. He also works as a feature film scriptwriter, winning the 2021 Thomas Pluch Screenwriting Prize for his script for „Life on the Horn“.

What was your starting point for “Will My Parents Come to See Me”?

I really don’t remember the starting point, but I was aware of the topic of the film, even as a child. 

Do you have a favourite moment in the film? Which one and why this one?

The last sequence where the prison officer plays the music in her car to distract herself from what is unfolding outside. She is then told to stop the music, but she turns up the volume and drives away. 
It’s a key moment for the character and also for the film. 

What do you like about the short form?

The fact that you can say so much in such a short time and also experiment with it. There are no boundaries!

Photo © Dorothea Tuch

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„C’est simplement un moment sans espoir, parce que ce n’est pas non plus si simple pour les parents. Cela se voit aussi dans cette situation désespérée au sein du système somalien. Je voulais poser la question : qui a ou qui devrait avoir la responsabilité : l’État, les parents, la société ?“
in an interview with Mo Harawe by Siegfried Forster for rfi

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When we follow the preparation and execution of this death sentence in your film, we often have the impression of attending a play, because everything is staged in a very precise and effective way. A real drama. Is that how you staged this story?
Yeah, I staged it that way because I didn’t just want to tell a story arc, but give viewers space to make their own judgements, feel things, and have their own point of view. […] I didn’t want them to just watch and move on. In the film, they are forced to really look and unconsciously immerse themselves in this universe. That was the idea behind this staging and the long sequence shots… The spectator must watch the film actively and not passively.“
in an interview with Mo Harawe by Siegfried Forster for Teller Report

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