Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Manazil bela abwab

Houses without Doors

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From the balcony of his family’s apartment in Aleppo’s Midan district, Avo Kaprealian began chronicling daily life on the streets, capturing the sense of foreboding rapidly approaching with the violent conflict engulfing the country. Once in a while, the father breaks his silence to reprimand his son for endangering the entire family. In contrast, the mother avails herself to the camera, recounting events and divulging emotion without reserve. Midan’s residents are mainly descendants of survivors of the Armenian genocide, who fled their homes in modern-day Turkey to settle in Aleppo. As the armed conflict hits their street, Kaprealian’s lens turns inward to record the family’s quotidian life and how they cope with shelling, snipers and power cuts. For Armenian-Syrians, whose memory is deeply etched with the tragedy of forced exile, the prospect of leaving their homes and lives behind to escape death echoes like an ancestral trauma being relived. Kaprealian invokes the history of cinema to incarnate his family’s agonising present and transforms an archive of the imaginary into one of lived experience, stitching together ruptures in modern history and providing condolence for grief.

Syria / Lebanon 2016, 90 min


Avo Kaprealian