My Home, in Libya

My Home, in Libya

Martina Melilli
Italy
2018
66 minutes

Martina is a visual artist living in Italy. Mahmoud is a nuclear engineering student living in Libya. An unlikely friendship develops between the two when Martina becomes interested in documenting her grandparents’ history in Tripoli, where they lived before fleeing the country as a result of Muammar Gaddafi’s 1970 coup d’état. Unable to obtain a visa to visit Libya, Martina connects with Mahmoud online and asks him to visit her grandparents’ old neighbourhood and to send her photos and video, demonstrating the evolution of the community.

Over the course of the film, director Martina Melilli juxtaposes her family’s memories of living in Tripoli when it was an Italian colony with the current reality Mahmoud faces living under militia rule. Feelings of nostalgia and longing are conveyed through overlapping images, sound, and text, pushing the viewer to piece them together for a complete narrative. A demiurgic meditation on the changed landscape of Tripoli, My Home, in Libya weaves a fabric of intertwined histories and people connected through photographs, the internet, and memory. -MF