Bye Bye Tiberias

Bye Bye Tiberias

Lina Soualem

PS / FR / BE / QA
OmeU, dt. UT
Audience Award

A mother and daughter look at photographs of the past together. A complex family history is viewed in the Paris flat and they try to put it into some form of overview: women from 4 generations, their lives spanning Palestine and France.
Lina Soualem and her mother, the actress Hiam Abbass, take us on a journey through archive footage and the present: they visit their family and explore intergenerational relationships and experiences of loss. Hiam Abbass left her village of Deir Hanna in Galilee as a young woman to become an actress in Europe. Her poems, songs and stories along with memories of Lina Soualem, who recalls her childhood summers in Palestine, enrich this filmic narrative. Memories appear to be archived here primarily in people’s bodies, in their hands, faces or voices. We see archive footage of Lina’s great-grandmother slowly braiding her thin white hair into plaits and weaving them together. In the voice-over, Abbass quotes her: »They will bury my body with my life story, my prayers and my memories.«

What do the exile experiences of previous generations mean for your own personal biography? Lina Soualem explores the overlapping of the personal and the political. She interweaves vanished places, the pain of displacement and dispersed memories as well as her mother’s dreams and her thoughts on the Lake of Tiberias, whose stories are as fragmented as those of the women.


Lina Soualem


Lina Soualem, Nadine Naous, Gladys Joujou


Frida Marzouk


Gladys Joujou


Ludovic Escallier, Lina Soualem


Amine Bouhafa


Hiam Abbass, Lina Soualem


Jean-Marie Nizan – Beall Productions


Guillaume Malandrin – Altitude100, Ossama Bawardi – Philistine Films



Portait of Lina Soualem

Lina Soualem

Lina Soualem is a French filmmaker and actress. After studying political science and history at the Sorbonne, she first worked as a journalist and curator for film festivals. Her debut film Their Algeria was included in the Panorama section of IFFF 2021 and dealt with her Algerian-French grandparents and the family history of her father Zinedine Soualem. Bye Bye Tiberias now looks further at her mother, Hiam Abbass, and had its world premiere at Venice International Film Festival.

Films by Lina Soualem
Bye Bye Tiberias 2023 | Their Algeria 2020