The short film “Tala’vision” (2021) directed by Murad Abu Eisheh is about an 8 year old girl called Tala (Aesha Balasem) living with her father called Taher (Ziad Bakri) in a war torn country controlled by the terrorist organisation ISIS. With everyone living in fear and houses reduced to ruin, Tala finds freedom and escapism by watching TV, especially when watching her hero, footballer Lionel Messi. The TV is the only window to the outside world Tala has because the real window she has reveals a street littered with rubble. However, that solace is taken away when ISIS prohibits owning a TV, another act of control. Tala’s world becomes even smaller as she is confined to her home that is a shell of what it once was. Feeling alone, Tala ventures outside her home, something she hasn’t done in what probably feels like a lifetime ago. Upon her time outside she discovers a TV, not knowing the real dangers of owning one. Tala brings it home and hides it from her father. Unbeknownst to Tala, her friends father (Khalid Al Tarifi) becomes aware of the forbidden TV and threatens to tell ISIS about it unless Taher (Tala’s father) gives him money to help his son’s failing health. Taher refuses as he is not aware of his daughter’s secret. When her friends father leaves, Tala tells her father about the TV, they try to flee, terrified that ISIS will come and kill them. Taher tells Tala to run ensuring he will be right behind her. Tala runs and turns to look back shouting for her father, not knowing if he got away, leaving the film on a cliff-hanger.
The director Murad Abu Eisheh was born in Amman, Jordan in 1992. He earned his bachlor degree in design and visual communication with a focus on filmmaking. He attended a German-Jordanian University in Jordan, 2014. Once he graduated he delved deeper into filmmaking and directed a few shorts as well as commercials. However in 2016 he decided to go back to university to study directing at Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany. While there he wrote and directed 3 shorts including “Tala’vision“. (Tala’vision got support from the Jordan film fund and produced in co-production with SWR, Jordan Pioneers and Tabi 360). Tala’vision then went on to win various awards and honours the biggest award one being the Student Academy Awards, the win makes it the first Arab win in the fiction category. Murad Abu Eisheh strives to create and tell stories about war ridden Arab countries. He wants to bring attention to the injustices and voice important questions about the socio-political structure in the Middle East. Aside from filmmaking, Eisheh has also set up a non-profit which aims to help people in the East and North Africa find their own unique voice in filmmaking.
I liked this film with a running time of 27mins, its very thought provoking and moving. It is very simple with not too much dialogue so not very hard to follow to those watching with subtitles. The film finishes on a cliff-hanger, does Tala’s father get away? Overall a good film, makes you wonder do we take having a TV for granted? “Tala’vision” makes you feel sorry for the people that had to go through and experience it. This short film isn’t something I would normally watch but I’m very glad I did because I had know idea that ISIS prohibited owning a TV so they could gain even more power. I can’t imagine what it would of been like for everyone who live like that. Tala’vision is a powerful short film written and directed by Murad Abu Eisheh about the heart break of living in a country controlled by war.
Have a look at the trailer below.