As part of the HUMAN International Documentary Film Festival in Oslo, SPACE organized a screening of Ziad Kalthoum’s award-winning documentary Taste of Cement. The screening was followed by a talk and discussion with Samer Frangie, Assistant Professor in Political Studies at the American University of Beirut.
In this short video, Frangine comments on how the “failure of witnessing” transformed the revolution from a public affair to a private one.
THE FILM: TASTE OF CEMENT
A portrait of workers in exile, Taste of Cement is an empathetic encounter with people who have lost their past and their future, locked in the recurring present.
A poetic essay documentary about Syrian construction workers building new skyscrapers in Beirut. As they help rebuild ruined neighbourhoods in the aftermath of the Lebanese civil war, their own houses at home are being shelled. The Lebanese government has imposed curfews on refugees and so the workers are locked in the building site over-night. Every night in their pit below the skyscraper the news from their homeland and the memories of the war haunt them. Mute and imprisoned in the cement underground, they must endure until the new day arrives where the hammering and welding drowns out their nightmares.
With exquisite framing, unorthodox editing, and dreamlike narrative detours Taste of Cement is a daring, imaginative and visually challenging cinematic work.
In collaboration with HUMAN International Documentary Film Festival and Kunstnernes Hus.