Football, girls, weed and revolution. The life of nineteen-year-old Abdo is shaken by the Egyptian revolts and the football massacre of Port Said. ABDO is a coming of age documentary that portrays two years in the life of a young activist in Egypt. Ultras football fan, atheist and anarchist with a Salafist family background - Abdo is a young man looking for his identity. His camera is his only certainty in a world that is upside down. When Abdo loses three friends during riots in a football stadium he decides to go to Gaza. On his way through smuggler tunnels heavy rainfall causes the tunnel’s collapse killing other travellers inside. What consequences does being consistently exposed to this kind of violence in such a pivotal age have on a young person’s life? What happens to feelings like love and hate in times of personal and social change?
Revolution through the eyes of a youngster.
I still remember the moment, when I arrived at Tahrir square for the first time. I was totally astonished. Astonished as everything was so different from what I had imagined by watching TV or reading newspapers. Astonished as all of a sudden one experiences so much more with one’s own eyes, than a camera can capture or a report can tell. A revolution is always a manufactory of performances, an orchestration of images: media and protesters – jointly or in conflict– they all together fabricate the great narrative ‘revolution’, which will later be found in history books. But how to picture ‚revolution’ aside of the main narratives? Maybe by taking the view of an individual. A teenager, who discovers the film camera for himself while he is coming of age. Who addictively films almost everything he encounters and sometimes even forgets that the camera is switched on.
Abdo is such a person and this film is about him. Through his eyes we can witness revolution in a different way - offside its main narrative. Abdo’s struggle for identity stands for a whole country. And his engagement represents a global youth’s desire for change which we see rising around the world in increasingly frequent intervals.
Jakob Gross studied Visual Anthropology in Munich (Germany) and Chennai (India). Since 2008 he has been producing documentary films and has been working as a cameraman. Besides, he is an associate member of the Cluster of Excellence of Heidelberg University in the field of Visual Anthropology. 2013 Jakob founded the production company FinkFilms for which he works as a producer, author and cameraman. ABDO is Jakob Gross’ first feature documentary film.
Annika Mayer studied cultural anthropology and visual anthropology in Munich and Paris. She taught several years at LMU Munich. Currently she does her PhD at the cluster of excellence of Heidelberg University. Since 2013 she works as producer and editor for FinkFilms.