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Taste of Cement

As part of the Ending War theme of Rise-Up, we screen this portrait of workers in exile. 

With his second feature, Ziad Kalthoum creates a poetic essay documentary about Syrian construction workers building new skyscrapers in Beirut. As they help rebuild ruined neighbourhoods in the aftermath of the Lebanese civil war, their own houses at home are being shelled. 

The Lebanese government has imposed curfews on refugees and so the workers are locked in the building site over-night. Every night in their pit below the skyscraper the news from their homeland and the memories of the war haunt them. 

Mute and imprisoned in the cement underground, they must endure until the new day arrives where the hammering and welding drowns out their nightmares.

With exquisite framing, unorthodox editing, and dreamlike narrative detours Taste of Cement is a daring, imaginative and visually challenging cinematic work.

This screening will be accompanied by short films inspired by Martin Luther King's speech at Newcastle University in 1967, made by Northern Stars Documentary Academy, Tyneside Cinema's young persons filmmaking academy for 15-18 year-olds from the North East. 

Event Information

Running Time: 1hr 25mins

BBFC Advice: adv 15

Director(s): Ziad Kalthoum

Country of Origin: Lebanon, Germany, Syria, Qatar & United Arab Emirates

Year of release:

Language(s): In Arabic with English subtitles

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