Italy, France, Germany 2020
In Arabic and Kurdish, with English subtitles
100 min
Suitable for audiences aged 12 and above
Director: Gianfranco Rosi
Production: Donatella Palermo, Gianfranco Rosi, Serge Lalou, Camille Laemlè, Orwa Nyrabia, Eva-Maria Weerts / Les Films D’Ici, 21uno Film, Stemal Entertainment, Arte France Cinéma
Print Source: The Match Factory

How much pain, how much life makes up the existence of people in the Middle East?

In this film – shot over a three-year period in the Middle East – Gianfranco Rosi gives voice to a human drama that transcends geographical divisions and calendar time, illuminating with encounters and images the daily life that lies behind the continuous tragedy of civil wars, brutal dictatorships, foreign invasions and interference and finally the murderous apocalypse of ISIS. But the war does not appear directly: we hear it in the mournful dirges of mothers, in the stammering of permanently wounded children, in a play about the senselessness of politics performed by patients in a psychiatric hospital. Different stories, to which the narration confers a unity that goes beyond the conflicts. All around, and within the consciousness of all, signs of violence and destruction: but in the foreground is the humanity that reawakens every day from a nocturne that seems infinite.

Production notes