Saturday, February 24, 2024 | Sha'ban 13, 1445 H
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Clouds zooms in on Salalah's mountain life and dialect


Photo by Abdullah al Amouri

Muzna al Musafer, who loves images and nature, was able to complete her own painting in the world of films, as her short film 'Clouds' was screened at Bait Al Zubair in a premiere.

In 'Clouds', Muzna presented a new cinematic segment of Omani society, which is the mountainous community that lives in the mountains of Dhofar, the southern part of the Sultanate of Oman.

She presented it beautifully through her wonderful vision and directorial prowess, in reviving the emotionally charged film with the participation of a professional film crew from Italy and France.

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Muzna went to Rome, Italy, for 26 days to finish the editing, mixing and final touches to the film. She also did a good job by going to the mountains of Salalah to research and learn about the culture of the people of the mountain and their previous lives, as told to her by the residents of the region, and searching for the smallest details that took to realism.

This effort was clearly reflected in the details of the filmed scenes, and what is most beautiful of all is that the film was shown in the Shehri language, which is one of the languages of the people of Dhofar, in addition to the presence of mountain folklore, such as Nana art.

Muzna highlighted the specifics of the culture such as clothes, costumes, accessories, and general atmosphere that was appropriate for the people there during the year 1978.

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The film begins with Dablan looking forward to hunting one of the forest animals that live in the mountains of Oman, namely the Arabian leopard, the expected animal that did not appear in the film.

Muzna tells her story well without letting viewers see it. She is able to capture the attention, through the feelings expressed in the dialogue words between the characters, so that viewers can wait throughout the film.

In the film, the child Omar’s anticipation and his willingness to eliminate anyone who tries to undermine the security, reassures peace of his small family in light of the absence of his father, who is isolated in his home and far away from people and their social events after the death of his wife.

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His wife, who was expressed in the film as being killed by mistake, the human tiger appeared to throw the young men who blocked the path of the seven-year-old Omar and his sister Salma, who tried to highlight his masculinity in defending his sister despite his young age. The tiger appears once.

Another character in the film is Shaikh Masoud, who looks around and approaches to devour Salma, but Diblan, the cheetah hunter who has been through life, manages to repel him and gives Salem the motivation to protect her from the rest of the tigers that still live with different skins, offering Salma a group of frankincense grains as a symbol of love or as a marriage dowry.

Speaking about the film, Muzna said, “The Eastern man always hesitates to utter words of love, but he offers love in the form of gifts, roses, etc. That is why Salem appears offering the finest frankincense to his beloved and future wife, Salma.”

On the name of the film, Muzna explained, “The film was called 'Clouds' because of the fall season, which carries fog and clouds that bring rain and goodness. It may also symbolise the clouds surrounding our eyes and make us not see things clearly, or obscure our vision of the future and keep us stuck in the past, as Dablan did.”

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The film featured Hassan al Maashani taking the role of 'Dublan', Amal Bait Nawira taking the role of 'Salma' while child Bandar al Shahri taking the role of 'Omar'. Sharif al Omari played the role of 'Shaikh Masoud', Muslim al Shahri played the role of 'Salem', in addition to child actors Wanas, Bashar al Shahri and other actors from the region.

Muzna expressed that cinema is a space for human expression and expressed her desire to show this film in all governorates of the Sultanate of Oman to gain the trust of the local audience in addition to its participation in the rest of the world.

During the screening , journalist Shatha al Balushi moderated the cinematic evening and the criticism session presented by Dr Hamid al Amri, President of the Oman Film Society, at the end of the screening, which was entitled 'A Drop of Dew from the Clouds of Muzna,' in addition to the comments of the show’s director and the audience.

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