Germany, Lebanon, Syria, United Arab Emirates


In Beirut, Syrian construction workers are building a skyscraper while at the same time their own houses at home are being shelled. The Lebanese war is over but the Syrian one still rages on. The workers are locked in the building site. They are not allowed to leave it after 19.00 hrs. The Lebanese government has imposed night-time curfews on the refugees. The only contact with the outside world for these Syrian workers is the hole through which they climb out in the morning to begin a new day of work. Cut off from their homeland, they gather at night around a small TV set to get the news from Syria.
Tormented by anguish and anxiety, while suffering the deprivation of the most basic human and workers rights, they keep hoping for a different life.

Director's Biography

Ziad Kalthoum was born in Homs in 1981 and graduated after studies in film. He has worked as an assistant director on several films, series and television programmes, including Mohammad Malas’s LADDER TO DAMASCUS (2013). In 2011, he directed his first short documentary, OH, MY HEART (2011), which was selected for the Carthage Film Festival. Kalthoum’s first feature-length documentary THE IMMORTAL SERGEANT (2013), deals with the schizophrenic daily life and encounters he experiences between his mandatory military service in the Syrian Army and his role as assistant director during the shooting of LADDER TO DAMASCUS. THE IMMORTAL SERGEANT was screened at the Locarno Film Festival in 2014 and the Fribourg International Film Festival in 2015.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Ziad Kalthoum

Written by: Ziad Kalthoum, Ansgar Frerich

Produced by: Ansgar Frerich, Tobias N. Siebert, Eva Kemme

Nominations and Awards

  • Documentary Selection 2017