When his father dies, Dib and his mother move to Damascus to live with his grandfather. It is 1950 and the military dictatorship is about to collapse. Dib grows up against a background of growing political unrest and violence.
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I don't know if Syrians can look back nostalgically to a time when things were good, because if this film is any representation, the 1950's were horrible. A minute doesn't go by in this film without people cursing each other. Some great cinema here, but the overall effect of this film is oppressive, a difficult watch. The print I saw was in dreadful condition, maybe after Syria is restored they can restore this, too.
Doc Lisboa # 10. Shown in a poor print, directly from film to digital, only for its obvious formal qualities this film survives an existence that removes its plasticity and sharpness. It's a family drama spent in a politically troubled time and by the proximity to Egypt, often recalls Chahine's syncretic ability to articulate the intimate and the public, on a grand scale - childhood's end on a large framing.
I kept wanting this film to be over, but I’m not sorry I saw it, even with the bad quality of the print. I’ll keep some of the characters in my memory and I got a sense of life in Syria in the ‘50’s, which seems valuable and rare. But like I said, the time (as in those times) didn’t pass easily. Some gorgeous frames.