Canadian Women Film Directors Database
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Inescapable

Directed by Ruba Nadda
Canada / South Africa, 2012 (fiction, 90 minutes, colour, Arabic / English)
Also known as "Ajojahti", "Entführt in Damaskus", "No Escape"

Film Description:
"A successful businessman suddenly finds his life turned upside down when his journalist daughter goes missing during her trip to his hometown of Damascus. He knows that his daughter's disappearance is tied to the reason for his exile. His first trip home in more than 30 years turns into a frantic quest to rescue his daughter while reconnecting with the love of his life."
-- Telefilm Canada (source)

Film Description:
"Successful Syrian-Canadian businessman Adib (Siddig) lives a comfortable life in Toronto with his loving wife and two college-aged daughters. On a typical afternoon at work, he receives a devastating piece of news: while vacationing in Greece, his eldest daughter secretly took a detour to Damascus -- and vanished. Frantic, Adib immediately makes plans to return to Syria after more than thirty years. As Adib places a series of covert phone calls and makes secret rendezvous with former contacts, it gradually becomes clear that he was once a major player in the Syrian resistance movement. Aided by the ex-fiancée he left behind (Marisa Tomei) and a dubious Canadian embassy official (Joshua Jackson), Adib wades through vague clues, government subterfuge, and a web of conspiracies that stand between him and his daughter. When the regime discovers his former identity and accuses his daughter of being a spy, Adib must once again take up arms and fight for what he holds most dear."
-- Toronto International Film Festival (source)


Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Ruba Nadda
Produced by: Daniel Iron, Lance Samuels, Elliott Borkum, Darren Cameron, Kirk D'Amico, Fadia Nadda, Aeschylus Poulos, Mark Slone, Christine Vachon
Principal Cast: Alexander Siddig, Joshua Jackson, Marisa Tomei, Oded Fehr, Saad Siddiqui, Fadia Nadda, Bonnie Lee Bouman
Cinematography: Luc Montpellier
Film Editing: Teresa Hannigan
Music: Geo Höhn, Jim Petrak
Production Company: Foundry Films, Out Of Africa Entertainment
(sources)

Notes about Inescapable

(sources)

Quotes by the Director

"I grew up with an amazing father, but Arab men have a very bad rap in North America. So in this movie I wanted to show a different side to the Arab man, and I think I've succeeded. He's a real man. He's got his vulnerabilities, his rage, his despair -- and at the end of the day, the most important thing to him is his daughter. My father raised his three daughters to be feminists. The Arab men that I know in my life are macho, yes, but they'd also go to the ends of the earth for their daughters."
-- Ruba Nadda (source)

"I started writing [Inescapable] about six years ago. I'm Canadian but I'm also Syrian and my parents took us back -- my sisters and I -- when I was about 12 and stayed there on and off for about four years. The country and the city (Damascus) left such an emotional impact on my brain that I could never walk away from it. The other germ of the idea [was] when I was travelling with my first feature [...] in the Middle East and I remember calling my father back home in Toronto, and he was very nervous because I was travelling by myself and he said, 'please be careful, don't make me come after you.' I've always been fascinated by, when immigrants come to Canada, what they leave behind, the past, the family, the secrets."
-- Ruba Nadda (source)

Quotes by the Director [in French]

"À l'origine, il devait y avoir encore plus d'éléments romantiques [dans Inescapable]. Mais lorsque le Printemps arabe a explosé, j'ai pris soin de ne pas faire un Cairo Time 2, alors que tant de choses dégueulasses surviennent actuellement. Je ne voulais pas que les spectateurs quittent la salle en retenant seulement la belle histoire d'amour à Damas."
-- Ruba Nadda (source)

"[Dans Inescapable], je voulais montrer les différentes facettes de ce que peut être un Arabe. Et qu'il est possible qu'un Arabe élève sa fille pour en faire une femme indépendante."
-- Ruba Nadda (source)

Quotes about Inescapable

"[Ruba] Nadda does a decent job of capturing the sense of oppression and paranoia that exists in a police state, where leader Bashir al-Assad's oversized images fill every public space. She also effectively builds a rising sense of foreboding. Yet the film's climax comes up a little short in terms of emotional payoff."
-- Bruce DeMara (source)

"The person who made Cairo Time is the same person who made this film [Inescapable]. You have the same shots and same speed of exposition and the gentle, elegant way of seeing someone's face or seeing how they register pain or hope -- that's Ruba [Nadda]. You don't get that in male action pictures. They're like next, boom, next, boom and you don't have time to register the punchline before the next joke. [...] [Inescapable is] kind of an anti-action picture in the sense that the hero is so not heroic except for his will to succeed, and his will to succeed is so strong and astonishing. And that's what you want from your dad."
-- Alexander Siddig (source)

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