What Remains Of Me
“What Remains of Me“ is a Yemeni documentary that sheds light on Taiz, the most densely populated city in Yemen. It’s distinguished by its cultural, commercial, tourist and industrial activities.
“It took weeks of filming and documenting events as it was difficult to move in residential areas full of randomly laid minefields and tricky explosives made in the shape of toys, stones, and tree trunks. Due to the fear of snipers who target any living creature in sight, and the scourge of the imposed siege on the city, we resorted to walking through impassable routes as if we were making a deal that leads to death, while trying to document everything that was going on. Taiz used to be a beautiful city, but it has become destroyed and saddened, I together with the crew, decided to enter the city through its main entry, Al Hawban entry, but it has been shut down for more than five years.
The Houthi’s have closed it, right after they took control of it, and prevented any movement in / around the entrance ever since. (Houthi’s are Iran-backed militias who staged a coup against the internationally recognized government and made their way towards Taiz, after taking over the capital Sana’a.)
This increased the suffering of the inhabitants, turning the once beautiful city into a large prison where medical and food aid was delivered through airdrops because of the siege. In a four-hour risky drive, we entered the city through an alternative route. It used to be a ten-minute drive to get to the center of the city before the siege.
On the backside of a four-wheel-drive vehicle in a bumpy road, through which some made it to hospitals and others died before reaching the city. We arrived after enduring a lot of suffering. When we arrived, we faced different forms of death: landmines, explosives, snipers, and artillery shells. It is literally a grief-stricken city, subjected to terrorism and massive sabotage that affects all aspects of life. Inside the city, there are warning signs, but not enough to spare civilians the danger of these mines. Nobody knows what they will come across: landmines or explosives on the roadside. Or those planted in houses deserted by their owners or in facilities and schools, which still exist now.
Hundreds of civilians in Taiz, including children and women, have lost their lives or parts of their bodies due to these shells and mines, which are still lurking for their victims. During the time of filming and until I departed the city, there were little or no efforts to reduce this danger. The movie spotlighted the story of Jamal Jameel who lost his two feet to a shell while playing near his house and child Malak who was on her way to the store to buy candies as a reward for being excellent at school, but the reward was a shell that amputated her arm.
The documentary also shows the misery of a young woman named Dalila who had both her legs amputated due to a landmine that was planted near a well in front of her house and other stories being addressed in the documentary. The cases I met portray a realistic model for this city. I saw Taiz in the eyes of its children, women, and youth:, Broken, sad, and greatly depressed. Taiz, known as the Dreamy City, has lost thousands of its best young men and women. I read about the tragedy of the city, So I decided to shed light on it in this documentary: “What Remains of Me” Through which I hope to make the voice of its people be heard to the conscientious people in the world, so that they cooperate to stop…..THIS TRAGEDY!!”
Fusion International Film Festivals