“Love what you do, in order to do what you love.”
Alhamour H.A. is the International Feature submission for Saudi Arabia. Set in the early 2000s, when the economy was at its prime, the film focuses on Hamed, a man who moved from Makkah to Jeddah, along with his wife Fatima, to re-start their lives in hopes of becoming a success story, like so many other people around him. Struggling to keep a float and living a humble life, Hamed is able to secure a job as a security guard in a luxury oceanfront hotel. One night, by chance, he meets a hotel guest who would give him advice that would forever change his life. He learns that the secret to success is to exhaust oneself during rest time, so that one can rest during exhausting times. Shortly after he quits his job.
With a pregnant wife, Hamed lands himself a job in a call centre. Learning how to sell anything to anyone, he starts a side business selling phones. This slowly begins to grow into a mobile card scheme. He then quickly moves into selling charge cards. And before he knows it, he’s operating in a Ponzi scheme, along with his friends, making money faster than he ever expected. Hamed’s life turns to parties, drugs, drinking and womanizing. His relationship with his wife begins to get rocky, and the greed to want more and more begins to overtake his entire life.
A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that pays existing investors with funds collected from new investors. Hamed would promise to generate high returns with his client’s money with little or no risk. The fraudsters though do not invest the money. Instead, they pay those who invested earlier with new money, while keeping some for themselves. New money is constantly needed to survive. But these schemes never have a way of sustaining themselves. And Hamed will do anything to prevent him from going back to the poor kid living in Makkah.
Alhamour H.A. is a rags to riches story inspired by true events. It’s a film filled with wanting more, and more. It’s a lustful, greedy, sanctimonious, corrupt film, lavishly portraying someone having it all. That’s the goal though. It’s to have money with the hopes of buying the whole universe. But at the same time, the film is also about dignity. It’s about trying to prove to others that you’re not a failure, that you’re more than just a security guard trying to make ends meet. It’s a film about proving to oneself that you can achieve anything that you want, and along the way you’ll make some mistakes, some larger than others.
Money is so freeing. It gives you the freedom to choose. But the money your chasing can also be enslaving you.