Trouble Sleeping


In this, Theatre Workshop’s first full-length film, the company examine the everyday experience of asylum seekers in Scotland. Based primarily in Edinburgh, it follows the fortunes of a number of different individuals from the former weightlifting champion Ahmed to gay Mehti and the poetic Seham, from confident flirt, Kamal, to the caring couple, Khalid and Halla. While focusing on the attitudes of the police and the prejudices of those around them, the film also looks at the problems within the asylum seekers’ own community, the homophobia, the deep concern with what others think and the haunting, terrifying effect of torture experienced at home. The threat of deportation hangs over every scene and, despite the joyful exuberance of the party in the café and the football training, this is largely a piece that deals with the horrors of past grieves and the anguish of present circumstances. The closing scenes show Khalid discovering the truth about Halla’s past as a torture victim and the true origin of their son who is the result of a vicious rape attack in the prison where Ahmed and Kalla were incarcerated. It is a powerful, often painful image of the disintegration and the gradual, piecemeal reconstruction of individual lives. Theatre Workshop have produced a number of other pieces that focus on similar issues, most noticeably, Jasmine Road (2003) and One Hour Before Sunrise (2006). Both are written by Ghazi Hussein. Awards for Trouble Sleeping: Winner of Best New Work-Fiction at BAFTA New Talent Awards 2008. Winner of Best Feature Narrative at the Peace on Earth Film Festival 2008 Winner Best Film Rockport International Film Festival 2008 Winner Best Film and Best Actress (Alia Alzougbi) SOAPIFF 2008

Released August 2008
Length 107 mins
Written by Robert Rae and Ghazi Hussein with Jim McSharry, Roxanna Pope, Saleyha Ahsan and Lucy Kaya
Directed by Robert Rae
Designed by Laurel Wear Musical
Director Jim Sutherland
Actors Hassan Naama, Alia Alzougbi, Waseem Aboaklain, Okan Yahsi, Seham Ali, Robert Softley, Nihat Kaya, Maher Sari, Yousaf Khan Shinwary and The Theatre Workshop Community Company
Producer Eddie Dick and Helen Trew
Executive Producer Leslie Finlay and Ewan Angus
Editor Tina Hetherington
Director of Photography Iain Dodds

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