My meal with Daoud

Short film (2022)

With: Neil Malik Abdullah, Alexa Harms

Rosa tried to call a friend to arrange a date. His phone was off, so she called the pizzeria where he works. But she has dialled the wrong number and is connected to a stranger who introduces himself as Daoud and invites her to dinner. She decides to go. Or is it all just a dream?

Rosa and Daoud are an unequal couple. At first glance, nothing seems to connect them. He is an old man from Syria, he has just lost his German wife to Corona and feels uprooted and also bitter. His view of the world is gloomy. Rosa had Corona herself but she is young and now largely recovered. But her life was also disrupted by Corona. Daoud talks about the area he comes from, he talks about the suffering of people living in war zones, and about how Corona has occupied all our thoughts. The rest of the world has become indifferent to us, he says sadly but also somewhat reproachfully. Rosa listens with only one ear. She is hungry and Daoud's food tastes good to her. She eats like someone who hasn't eaten for a long time. Daoud is quietly amused by this, but he keeps talking. He doesn't seem to care if Rosa is really listening and if she understands what he is saying. For him, there are things that simply have to be said. The magic here is perhaps in the encounter of the two as such, and in the end Rosa is also thoughtful. Perhaps the point of our present is that after Corona, something like this becomes possible again.

The title of the film is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the title of a 1981 film by Louis Malle. The film itself is based on the words of a wonderful West Asian man, Mahmood, to whom it is also dedicated.

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