The tiny island of Arwad off Syria's coast has a long history. It is one of those places that, just like its inhabitants, never seems to change. When you leave, as Ali once did, letting go is tough, however perfect your new life may seem.
Using small jumps in time, the directors Samer Najari (half Syrian, half Lebanese, born in Moscow, currently residing in Canada) and Dominique Chila tell the story of an emigrant from the perspectives of Ali, his wife Gabrielle and his mistress Marie. Ali has an emotional crisis after his mother's death. In spite of his nice family and great job, he feels like an outsider in Canada, his new homeland. But returning to his birthplace, Arwad, doesn't offer solace either. During his stay there with Marie, Ali drowns whilst swimming at night. Was it an accident or suicide? Both Marie and Gabrielle struggle with the question, which they have to answer alone. Gabrielle has to carry on with her two daughters; Marie can't talk to anyone about Ali.
In their sincere, soberly filmed, balanced and consummate debut, directors Najari and Chila give their characters room for their emotions, convincingly played by a strong cast. The sparse, effective score of bouzouki, guitar and oud emphasises the loneliness and loss felt by all.

Filmmaker
Samer Najari, Dominique Chila
Premiere
International premiere
Country
Canada
Year
2013
Medium
DCP
Length
105’
Language
French
Producer
Galilé Marion-Gauvin, Marcel Jean, Samer Najari
Production Company
Productions Unité Centrale
Sales
FunFilm Distribution
Writer
Samer Najari
Cinematography
Pierre Mignot
Editor
Mathieu Bouchard-Malo
Production Design
Eric Barbeau
Sound Design
Olivier Calvert, Sylvain Vary
Music
Robert Marcel Lepage, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh
Cast
Ramzi Choukair, Fanny Mallette