Ahmad is a refugee from Syria, holding wishes of starting his own taxi service. When he loses his menial employment at a gas station, he attempts to navigate through the current American economy with optimism. Soon, reality begins to set in as consistent work is scarce. It slowly begins to take a toll on his relationships, faith, and sense of self, with his dream slipping quickly from his grasp.
Country of origin: USA
Directed by: Christopher Jason Bell
Duration: 1 hour 19 minutes
Previously also selected at the Northside Festival, Korea Indie and Expat Film Festival and the Madrid International Film Festival.
My early vision involved a gas station attendant losing his job and the aftermath of such an event, detailing his hunt for new employment and resulting fatigue from such an endeavor. I would utilize an untrained actor, a real life attendant. From there it would be a collaboration between us, combining my thoughts and perspectives with another and hopefully achieving something different from the things I was currently seeing in the landscape of American cinema.
The idea was to not be Orientalist. Since negative depictions of Islam and Muslims are the norm, it was important to work toward eradicating stereotypes and replace them with a more accurate representation. Collaboration was key. Together with my actors we created something substantial, characters that were far and away from the offensive pigeonholed ones seen in most contemporary films.
It was also imperative that when the Arab Spring ceased being relevant to the media that we did not forget their struggles and hopes. We have persevered through many obstacles to complete THE WINDS THAT SCATTER, a film that I hope shines light on people that are under served on screen.