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Directed by Ziad Kalthoum

Lebanon, Germany, Syria, Qatar, United Arab Emerites 2017 85 mins. In Arabic

While Aleppo and much of Syria have been systematically destroyed by their iron-fist dictator, Bashar al-Assad, millions of refugees have been forced to flee their homes, scattered across the globe in search of safety and security. For a small group of men exiled to Beirut, this security has come in the form of jobs constructing a luxury condo tower—and living in the below-ground parking garage. This dichotomy—concrete crumbling under the weight of bombing from above, while being built into the sky—leads filmmaker Ziad Kalthoum to unearth a wellspring of poetry, mining the men’s longing for their former home and offering a wrenching glimpse into the despair—and memory of a home lost—felt by millions of Syrian refugees. Taste of Cement is a brilliantly conceived film that “uses every resource of the cinema. An intimate memoir as well as a moving social document, it is also a work of great audiovisual power and lyricism.”—Tony Pipolo, Artforum. In Arabic with English subtitles.

Genres: Documentary



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.