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Taste of Cement

  • Directed by Ziad Kalthoum
  • Lebanon/Germany/Syria/Qatar/United Arab Emerites, 2017, 85 mins., 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