Ma vie en papier

by Vida Dena

Ma vie en papier di Vida Dena – Belgio, Francia, Iran, 2022, 80’

Fotografia Vida Dena
Montaggio Lenka Fillnerova, Frédéric Fichefet, Sophie Vercruysse
Musica Noma Omran
Produzione Hanne Phlypo (Clin d’oeil films), Eugénie Michel-Villette (Les Films du Bilboquet)
Coproduzione Wild Heart Productions, Atelier Graphoui, CBA – Centre de l’audiovisuel Bruxelles, Shelter Prod
Distribuzione CAT&Docs (

An intimate and subtly expansive portrait of a Syrian family living in a house in Brussels that seldom leaves the confines of its fourpin k walls. My paper life focuses on the two eldest daughters, Hala and Rima, and the family’s growing collection of drawings and dreams. As their colourful sketches come alive, the young women recall their journey and their home, their plans to study and to marry, and what other possibilities they hope this new life might have in store.

I use art as a weapon to resist, to talk in-between words, to bypass the censorship, to revolt. A camera is also a weapon in my hand. I use it to show or to suggest what has to be seen, to talk about what exists but is invisible. When I met this family, I saw how invisible their lives are. In Belgium, politicians talk about full integration into Belgian society as if this should be the immediate priority for migrants upon arrival. But they tend to forget the traumas that these families have been through and are still going through [Vida Dena].

Vida Dena (1984, Tehran) is an Iranian female artist and independent filmmaker who is currently living in Brussels, Belgium. She got her Bachelor in Architecture from Azad Art and Architecture University in Tehran. In the summer of 2009 she left for Sweden to continue her Master in Fine Arts in Umeå Academy of Fine Arts. Her film Ayan and the White Balloon (2015) premiered at the 58th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film. My Paper Life is her firs feature documentary.