EXCLUSIVE: Here’s your first look at The Devil’s Driver, a documentary directed by Mohammed Abugeth and Daniel Carsenty that will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s a non-fiction film, but the teaser packs the driving action of a Hollywood thriller.
In the video above, a Palestinian man named Hamouda tries to smuggle undocumented Bedouin workers into Israel while evading Israeli army patrols. It is a high stakes game of chance with the risk of death or imprisonment.
A release for the film is calling The Devil’s Driver “A breathtaking portrait of human trafficking in one of the most dangerous regions of the world … An intimate but harrowing portrait – taken over the course of eight years – of a man who lives on the edge of one of the most dangerous regions of our world. ”
“We believe it is time to tell a story from the Middle East that is not the usual stereotypical story of terrorists or victims,” explain Abugeth and Carsenty, “but a three-dimensional portrait of people who work hard, around under the most difficult of circumstances. Our characters are real people, neither good nor bad, but full of shades of gray, ambiguity and contradiction. The key question our characters face is, is it worth it? [it] take the risk of losing your freedom and going to jail to give your family a good life while enjoying a brief moment of freedom? “
Abugeth is Palestinian; Carsenty is Israeli. They are based in Berlin and will take part in the world premiere on Sunday in Toronto.
“We want our audience to ask themselves: what would I do if I lived under these circumstances?” Say the filmmakers. “We want our audience to benefit from the courage and resilience of our characters. In difficult situations we ask ourselves what would Hamouda say? And he would answer like at the end of the film: get up and carry on. You only have one life to live, make the most of it. “
Carrying on despite the adversity is something the directors can relate to.
“The biggest challenge in this film has been keeping our morale up over the years,” say Abugeth and Carsenty. “There have been many moments when we doubted we would ever make this movie really work. It was extremely difficult to fund this film. For a long time we financed the film out of our own pocket. That meant we had to return to Berlin, work to finance our own lives and put aside the money we needed to film, and then leave ourselves and face the uncertainty of filmmaking while we ourselves had a precarious one Live life. “
The Devil’s Driver is a production by XTR and Mark It Zero, co-produced by CHUNK Filmproduction, with support from the Doha Film Institute and AFAC – the Arab Foundation for Arts and Culture. Carsenty and Felix Blum are the producers. Executive producers are Ben Dressel, Bryn Mooser, Kathryn Everett, Justin Lacob, Rolf Mayer and Ellen Eby.
Click the video above to see the teaser.