2022 Louisville Jewish Film Festival
Directed by Mano Khalil
Saturday, February 5, 7:30 pm Opening Night
Sunday, February 6, 5 pm CINEMA+
$12 / $8 Speed members
“Funny and emotionally uplifting. Neighbours is an important humanistic work and a stunning achievement.”—Jewish Film Review
In a Syrian border village in the early 1980s, six-year-old Sero attends school for the first time. A new teacher has arrived with the goal of making strapping Panarabic comrades out of the Kurdish children. To enable paradise to come to earth, he uses the rod to forbid the Kurdish language, orders the veneration of Assad, and preaches hate of the Zionist enemy–the Jews.
The lesions upset and confuse Sero as his long-time neighbors are a lovable Jewish family. With a fine sense of humor and satire, the film depicts a childhood which manages to find light moments between dictatorship and dark drama. Little Sero gets involved in dangerous pranks with his friends, and dreams of having a television so he can finally watch cartoons. He also experiences how the adults around him are increasingly crushed by the despotism, violence, and nationalism that surrounds them.
The film was inspired by the director’s personal experiences, and his bitter-sweet memories connect the Syrian tragedy in the present. Winner of the San Francisco Film Critics Jury Prize at the 2021 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. 2021, Switzerland, DCP, in Kurdish, Arabic, English, and Hebrew with English subtitles, 124 minutes. Recommended for 16+.
Co-presented with the 2022 Louisville Jewish Film Festival.
CINEMA+ With a post-screening discussion with director Mano Khalil viz Zoom. (Sunday, February 6 screening only)