THE SECRET GARDEN
Nour Ouayda / Lebanon / 2023 / 27 min / World Premiere
An adventure in eight chapters about a secret garden on the outskirts of an unnamed town, which one day wakes up overgrown with new and unknown plant species.
A whispering voice tells us a fairy tale. On the outskirts of an unnamed town lies a secret garden, normally invisible, but which occasionally appears. It is not to be found on any map. It is said to be a refuge for dissidents. One morning, the townspeople wake up to find that entirely new and unknown trees, plants and flowers have sprung up overnight and taken over the streets. ‘The Secret Garden’ is an imaginative, allegorical fable told in eight chapters and on gorgeous analogue film about how the two friends Camelia and Nahla investigate the origins of the strange new creatures. Along the way, they find a mysterious notebook that points them in the direction of a magical creature that – if they can find it – will let them see the future as clearly as day itself. Nour Ouayda (‘Towards the Sun’, CPH:DOX 2019) re-imagines the world solely through the juxtaposition of her impressionistic street photography and her tale of the secret garden. In other words, a meeting between the real and the possible.