In the sea of webseries about twenty-somethings, roommates, and zombies, Zyara is a welcome respite. Not that there’s anything wrong with twenty-somethings, roommates, and zombies, but sometimes it’s nice just to relax and hear a personal story or two.
Zyara is an Arabic word meaning “visit”. Each episode of Zyara is a visit with a unique individual. Through Muriel Aboulrouss’s almost dream-like cinematography, Zyara transcends what we usually think of as documentary, and moves into the realm of art film. Among the subjects are a poet, farmer, an elderly actress facing the end of life and a young woman coming to terms with the gender reassignment of a parent. Each of the intimate portraits brings the knowledge that we citizens of the earth are not so different from one another.
Zyara is an award winner in many international web festivals. We spoke with Muriel Aboulrouss and producer Denise Jabbour after Zyara’s win for Best Innovative Technique/Storytelling at the 2015 Bilbao Web Fest. See it here.
By Susan Siniawsky