Documentary Month 1st - 31st July 2023

In the Shadow of Beirut

In the Shadow of Beirut

International Stories

From the makers of GAZA (Sundance 2019), comes a new cinematic odyssey that penetrates deep below the surface of Beirut, a still beautiful, yet deeply troubled city on the brink of financial collapse.

In Sabra, one of Beirut’s toughest urban slums, sectarianism and violence is a permanent way of life. Rabia, a 38-year-old hardworking but undocumented Lebanese mother cannot afford to admit her chronically ill daughter to hospital, leaving the life of her innocent child hanging in the balance.

Father of five Ayman is preparing the way for his daughter Sanaa’s engagement to a local man as his way of protecting her in the neighbourhood as he labours to provide the most basic essentials for his family to survive.

Young father Aboodi is struggling to kick his drug habit which has brought him to prison before as he battles to find a new path in life that will make him a better parent to his toddler son.

In nearby Shatila, Abu Ahmad, an 8-year-old, angelic-looking but mischievous Syrian boy who fled ISIS, labours hard to feed his family while forging an unlikely friendship with a civil war veteran and fruit stall owner.

In the Shadow of Beirut weaves these four compelling storylines together in a searing portrait of a people and a city struggling to survive amidst some of the most difficult living conditions imaginable. In this failing state, it is the vulnerable who suffer most.

Through intimate, character driven and cinematic storytelling, the stark reality of life for the protagonists of the film is symbolic of the hundreds of thousands of others who fight for survival in the most diverse country in the Middle East, which has the highest per capita refugee numbers in the world. This is a nation suffering one of the worst global financial meltdowns on record, a country and a city that many now are trying desperately to flee.


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