“For the purposes of this decision, she will refer to him as John Doe.”
(Taken from personal transcript of the online hearing given by Ontario superior court justice, Anne Molloy, March 3, 2021)

A Hail Mary, 2023
Video (color, sound, 10 mins 20 sec), cardboard, golden nails, acrylic on canvas
A Hail Mary is an exploration of the process of processing.  In doing so, it considers the interplay between what is seen and unseen, and varying aspects of visibility in relation to the processing of this work.
On April 23, 2018, Toronto witnessed one of Canada's deadliest mass murder attacks. The widely reported incident is now famously known as the Toronto Van Attack. The perpetrator’s aim was to be notorious; internationally visible. Sadly, my grandfather, who was visiting my newly immigrated mother, became one of the victims who lost their lives that day, inadvertently caught in this web of (in)visibility.
A Hail Mary is one part still image, one part moving image;  a large-scale portrait of my mother and grandmother painted in 2018, which later becomes the focal point of the short-experimental documentary produced five years later. The painting serves as a catalyst for conversation within both the film and my family, aiding in processing both the image and its contents. The process of creating the painting extends beyond the confines of the canvas,  where it is activated by filming related moments in both Amman and Toronto, from cooking  Malfoof to Christian religious iconography, mirrored in both homes. While my grandfather’s death sets the stage in both the painting and video, the work primarily delves into the challenges of Canadian immigration. In the video, my mother and grandmother's faces are only made visible via the painted image, yet are animated sonically while narrating their experiences in Toronto after the attack.
Here, “Hail Mary'' takes on both the meaning of a Christian prayer and an unsuccessful plan; two elements that are seemingly interwoven into this story. Despite the mass media's sensationalisation of the tragedy, the work accentuates on my mother and grandmother's process of healing as an attempt to deem John Doe's quest for infamy unsuccessful. Instead, the story focuses on the intricacies and unique struggles encountered during this period of moving and mourning. ​​​​​​​
A Hail Mary was commissioned by the Toronto Arab Film Festival with support from Trinity Square Video. It was exhibited at the Kingston School of Art.
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