20/21 Film Series: The Tower

As part of our 2020/21 Film Series we screened The Tower by Mats Grorud, a moving animation that focuses on a young girl living in a Palestinian refugee camp as she learns about her family’s history through stories told by three previous generations of refugees followed by a live online discussion with the filmmaker Mats Grorud and Sahar Y.I. Alshobaki.

The Tower

  • Documentary/Animation: France, Norway, Sweden (2018)
  • Directors: Mats Grorud | Running time: 80 mins
  • Languages: Arabic with English subtitles

Beirut, Lebanon, Today. Wardi, an eleven-year-old Palestinian girl, lives with her whole family in the refugee camp where she was born. Her beloved great-grandfather Sidi was one of the first people to settle in the camp after being chased from his home back in 1948. The day Sidi gives her the key to his old house back in Galilee, she fears he may have lost hope of someday going home. As she searches for Sidi’s lost hope around the camp, she will collect her family’s testimonies, from one generation to the next.

Mats Grorud is a film director and animator from Norway. He previously directed two short films and has worked as an animator on several feature films, documentaries and music videos. During his childhood, his mother worked as a nurse in refugee camps in Lebanon. In the 1990s, Mats studied at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon while working as an English and Animation teacher in the Burj el Barjaneh refugee camp. Based on the testimonies of the refugees and his experience, he wrote the script for his first-feature film, The Tower.


First published: 12 May 2021