Development Cooperation Handbook/The video resources linked to this handbook/The Documentary Story/Syria 5 – Interview to the Ministers
Syria 5 – Interview to the Ministers
The Italian Embassy in Syria helped us to get in contact with B., the then Minister of Information. He had studied in Italy and was an old style elegant gentleman. Of course very different from what I expected should look like a Minister in a non-democratic State.
With his support we could also interview the Local Governments Minister and the Minister of Transportation. Then the political events that took an ugly turn in Syria prompted a Government re-shuffle such that no one of the Ministers we interviewed was still in power 4 months later. So not much use of them. Still if looks at them one can get a memory of what it means to have an international cooperation climate and compare it to the actual international hostility.
I was also very interested to two other projects: the NAM and the Business Environment Simplification Programme. However it seemed that RAI was quite happy with the footage taken and I had to push them through collecting further material.
The main problem was to convince Franco to work. After each hour of work he pretended an hour of rest. He said that the other colleagues of RAI will look at the footage and if it was not “professional” enough they would have taken him responsible. So it was better less but “good”. He made big preaches about the fact that for a TV documentary images are all. If you have good images, he was repeating, than you can add whatever speaker voice you want. But if you do not have good images, then there is no television sense at all that you can make even of best text. Which sounded to me as those who think that the women should be first attractive, and then can be or not intelligent. A real stupidity. Beauty always comes in the synergy of physicality and spirituality, in energy and intelligence, in matter and form. Neither of the two is beautiful by itself.
Francesco was more open. Sometimes he even had quarrels with Franco. But Franco had the childish approach of stopping to work and going to smoke an argyle. And since we needed the camera we had to wait. At least unit Gauri came to help. In fact seeing the attitude of Franco I asked Gauri to buy a camera and come to support us. She did. So we started filming additional footage that Franco was not ready to cover.
Francesco went with Guari to cover another project of AIDOS in the region of Lattakia. A women economic empowerment scheme.
Unfortunately sometimes the technical inexperience of Gauri was fatal to the technical quality of the footage. Like she forgot to keep the camera at the right distance from the wireless mike. So we lost many passage of the backstage conversation between me and Francesco on the island where I was explaining him my methodological approach. And try to do some meta-communication on the communication work we were doing.
We covered many of the Syrian projects and I was quite happy with the result of work done so far. Only two projects were had been left out. One was the project with the young Syrian journalists. Which I planned to do in again later. And the other was a small project that Armadilla was managing in Syria on the behalf of the Foundation Mariani. A project of physiotherapy in association with a Palestinian Welfare Women Association. The project manager, a nice Lebanese lady of Armenian origin was so afraid to have possible problems with possible critics that she would not even let us shoot at the physiotherapy work in progress. So strange. We had filmed inside Ministries, inside public Syrian television, inside refugee camps. But we had not been able to film inside the Armadilla office in Syria. But sometimes the sense of hospitably of the colleagues of your organization is less than the one of your enemies. That is also why I like to travel. And also to take up new difficult adventures. But I feel really bad to work as an employee in organizations.
On YouTube ⇒ Moving Hopes - playlist