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My Aleppo (Melissa Langer | USA | 18 min.)
The young Abdullah family fled the Syrian civil war and settled in Pretoria, South Africa. There, in their one-room apartment, the Internet is all that connects them with Aleppo. As long as the Wi-Fi is working back in Syria, they can Skype with family and friends in their home city. News videos show the buildings they knew disintegrated and old neighborhoods deserted. But the greatest disappointment of all is seeing the changes in people whom they were close to. They hear about the deaths of family members, of how they got drawn into the conflict and the unexpected things they did.
Melissa Langer is a nonfiction filmmaker based in Oakland. She holds an MFA in Documentary Film & Video from Stanford University and a BA in History from Carleton College. Her short films include Hauled Out, Treasure Island, and Terms of Intimacy. Her most recent film, My Aleppo, tells the story of a young Syrian family in South Africa as they struggle to retain ties to the ancient city of Aleppo. She is the recipient of a UFVA Carole Fielding Grant and her films have premiered at Telluride Film Festival, Hot Docs, SXSW, and IDFA.