Short Documentary: A Broken House



A Broken House is a Documentary Short by Emmy Award-winning documentary director Jimmy Goldblum. He is no stranger to the fight against displacement and loss of life. In 2014, his documentary Tomorrow we will disappear said of the The Kathputli Colony in New Delhi made up of magicians, puppeteers and circus performers whose future as a community is threatened by the government’s slum-busting plans.

In ‘A Broken House’ he tells the story of Mohamad Hafez, whose circumstances led him to be isolated from his family and home in Syria. A qualified architectural model maker, he was granted a single-entry visa to the United States, which means that if he returns home, he will not be allowed to return to the United States, where he now earns a living.

He misses his house, he describes this feeling of loss using the Welsh word Hiareth as he evokes his memory house in the miniature models he makes. As he works, he watches the Arab world explode through the news, that destruction is at the forefront of his work. It’s a revealing story that focuses not only on the destruction and displacement of war-ravaged communities, but also on the personal hurt and desire that comes with losing home. It also highlights how often the Western world ignores the real life of these people – what could have been – a film about loss and love, responsibility and identity.

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