Director: Mano Khalil
Feature film | Switzerland | 2021
124 min | Dolby 5.1
55th Hof International Film Festival
In a Syrian border village in the early 1980s, little Sero experiences his first year at school. He plays naughty pranks with his classmates, dreams of having a television so he can finally watch cartoons, and at the same time has to witness how the adults around him are increasingly crushed by nationalist despotism and violence. A new teacher arrives to turn the Kurdish children into upstanding pan-Arab comrades. He bans the Kurdish language mercilessly, orders the worship of Assad, and preaches hatred of the Jews, the Zionist arch-enemies. The lessons confuse Sero because his longtime neighbors are an endearing Jewish family. The film is inspired by the director’s personal childhood experiences and spans the touching narrative to the Syrian tragedy of the present.
With BANGEN ALI, DERYA UYGURLAR, HEVAL NAIF, ISMAIL ZAGROS, JALAL ALTAWIL, JAY ABDO, JIYAN ARMANC, MAZEN ALNATOUR, NASIMEH ALDAHER, SERHED KHALIL, TUNA DWEK, ZIREK ZIREK
Screenplay MANO KHALIL, Cinematography STÉPHANE KUTHY, Editing THOMAS BACHMANN, Production design FRÄNZE AERNI, Set design SARA B. WEINGART, Costume design LINDA HARPER, GULSAN OZER, Sound MOURAD KELLER, Sound Design THOMAS BACHMANN, Make-up JULIA NIETLISPACH, Production MANO KHALIL