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Dreams of the City

أحـلام  المدينة

Dreams of the City (Ahlam al-Medina)

When his father dies, Dib, his younger brother and their mother (Yasmine Khlat) move away from their hometown Quneitra to Damascus. The mother’s despotic father reluctantly takes them in and tries to force the mother to remarry. Overwhelmed by the magic of the city, Dib wants to discover everything and is full of dreams. His daily life is shaped by insults and punishments however. Dib grows up against a backdrop of the political upheavals of the 1950s (the end of the military dictatorship in Syria and the nationalization of the Suez Canal, Nasser’s taking of power in Cairo, Egyptian and Syrian unification in 1958) and loses his childish illusions in the face of such violence and brutality. The dreams of the city prove to be a nightmare. Mohammad Malas’ partly autobiographical debut film marked the transition to auteur cinema in Syria.

fiction, Mohamad Malas, Syria 1984, 123 min, color, Arabic with Engl. or French ST
Director Mohamad Malas | Script Mohamad Malas & Samir Zirka | Director of Photography Urdijan Engin | Editor Haitham Kouatly | Line Production Georges Bishara | Production National Film Organization | Cast Yasmine Khlat, Rafik Sbeit, Bassel el Abdiadh, Hisham Khcheifati, Talhat Hamdi, Adnan Barakat, Naji Jabr, Adib Chhadeh, Ayman Zeidan, Nazir Sarhan, Raja Kotrach, Hasan Dakkak

Carthage Film Festival: Tanit d'Or, 1985
Berlin International Film Festival: Interfilm Award - Honorable Mention, 1985
Valencia Festival of Mediterranean Cinema: Golden Palm, 1985

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