Taste of Cement

directed by Ziad Kalthoum, Germany/ Syria/ Lebanon/ United Arab Emirates/ Qatar 2017, 85'

The protagonists in Ziad Kalthoums film are Syrian workers building a giant skyscraper in Beirut. The working conditions are difficult, and no one is allowed to leave the construction site, which has become their temporary home, after 7:00 p.m. While they are constructing yet another skyscraper in the Lebanese capital, their homes in Syria are being destroyed by bombs. Indeed, Taste of Cement is primarily a story about war. The cement dust that the workers are constantly inhaling evokes terrifying memories of cities reduced to ruins, blood and death. The Syrian director skillfully juxtaposes images: the arm of a gigantic crane like a cannon barrel pointing at the center of the city, the roar of bulldozers bringing to mind tanks, a jackhammer banging out a rhythm reminiscent of a volley of rifle fire. The ruins of Aleppo and breathtaking panoramas of Beirut: in Kalthoum's dreamy, visually stunning film, the two are interwoven and merge together, while at the same time providing hope: just like in Lebanon, the Syrian war will eventually come to an end.

  • 2017 Visions du Réel (Winner Best Film)
  • Nominacja do Europejskiej Nagrody Filmowej