Monday, June 5, 2023
HomeentertainmentMovie NewsCannes rising star: 'Old Oak' breaks out as Ebla Mari escapes drama...

Cannes rising star: 'Old Oak' breaks out as Ebla Mari escapes drama class from Ken Loach's final film

Ebla Mari confesses. Oak before she was asked to play the lead role in Ken Loach’s latest (and likely last) film The Old , she said she was “ashamed” to say she didn’t know who the director was.

Not that the 15 year old really had any reason to do it.

as a Syrian drama teacher in the village of Majdal Shams, part of the Golan Heights, which has been in Israel since the Six Day War in Under Military Occupation, and with no previous screen experience, it’s understandable if Loach’s work – which focuses largely on troubles within British society – might have outdone her . But Mary soon caught up.

In The Old Oak,

she plays Yara, a Syrian refugee who recently arrived in the UK​ Guo left the family with her to a former mining town in north-east England and into the center of a community torn apart by decades of neglect, where cheap homes were sold online to unknown overseas companies. It is also a community that often sees its foreign immigrants as part of the problem rather than in solidarity as fellow victims. Yara becomes the key bridge after befriending TJ, manager of the last remaining bar in the village, which turns into a battleground.

It was actually Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir who first connected Mary to the film. “She was helping Ken find a Syrian actress in Syria and the Golan Heights, and she knew an actress from my village, and she talked to her about me,” she said. minutes of Zoom with Loach and his casting director, Kahleen Crawford, followed by an online audition at Summer Mari is in Newcastle near where The Old Oak was shot.

While she may not be a Syrian refugee like Yara, Mari points out that the decade-long civil war has only occurred on the border of her homeland. “It’s not that far away,” she said. “We can see it and hear the bombs, we have family there. So I know what’s going on.”

But to tie this story to Yara’s To connect, she researched the city of Homs, where the character came from, learned the exact accent, watched documentaries and talked to friends. While in the UK, two weeks before filming began, she visited Syrian refugees sent by the authorities to live in these old mining towns, going into their homes and hearing their stories.

“It was very, very difficult and very emotional to hear it so close,” she said. “On the one hand, it’s obviously a good thing that they’re not in a tent in a refugee camp. But on the other hand, it’s an ongoing trauma. Their families are separated and they feel alone.”

Like many of Loach’s stars over the years, in her feature debut and first experience at the Cannes Film Festival, Mari is back to work, 32022rd and next month 7th grade (students only know their teacher is “in the movie”).

“But it’s temporary – my dream is to do more acting and study filmmaking at the same time,” she said.

Having experienced Loach’s work in the most personal way, what does Mari think of the director?

“I feel lucky because this is an art that I believe in, and the way the story is handled is very human to what’s going on – I think it’s very important,” she said. “I’m not sure if this is his last – he’s still passionate and driven about doing things. I hope it’s not the last.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Featured NEWS