Locations Syria

Oral history with Hanna Ward


Here Hanna Ward discusses his work on Aljawarih (Birds of Prey, 1995) and its reasons for being so successful, as well as the changing busines of musalsalat, impacts of streaming services, and aspects of writing, archiving and critics.

Hanna Ward is a Syrian cinematographer with over 40 years in television and film. His musalsal work includes Aljawarih (Birds of Prey, 1995) in which a tribal sheikh tests his three sons by sending them into exile. Syrian director Najdat Anzour set Birds of Prey in an unmistakably historic Arab context but in no specific time or place, launching the ‘fantaziya’ genre of musalsalat. For this Hanna Ward established a whole new aesthetic for bringing to life imagined landscapes and this show’s distinctive and spectacular visuals influenced many subsequent musalsalat.

Animation by Maryam Jamal.