Fri 17.03
20:15 - 22:44
Vika 1
Sat 18.03
15:30 - 17:54
Vika 3
Sun 19.03
17:45 - 20:09
Vika 3

Tragedy and humour are closely linked in this gem about war and conflict as viewed through the eyes of a child. Mano Khalil’s Neighbours is a wonderfully warm drama which overflows with love, despite its serious subject matter.

Note: for the screening on 17th of March there will be a 25 min. conversation with director Mano Khalil before the film.

The Kurdish six-year-old Sero spends the early 80s with his family in a village at the Syrian-Turkish border. Days go by pranking soldiers, visiting his Jewish neighbours and dreaming of watching cartoons on TV. Trouble brews as school starts, where he is taught to support the Syrian dictatorship and hate jews. When tragedy strikes his family a chain reaction is set afoot, and by the end of the school year his life is forever changed.

Writer-director Mano Khalil balances humour and tragedy, absurdity and dead seriousness, in an impressive way in Neighbours, inspired by his own childhood. Not shying away from the serious nature of war, it still retains its warmth, especially through young Serhed Khalil’s fantastic portrayal of Sero.

“NEIGHBOURS is both a touching, warm human tale laced with humor and childhood appeal, and a pointed satiric look at the roots of hate, not just in Syria”
-We are Movie Geeks

Jenny Lund


Mano Khalil (b. 1964) is a Kurdish-Swiss director, writer and producer. Having studied in Damascus, he moved to Czechoslovakia to study directing. Today he lives in Bern, where he founded production company Frame Films in 2012. He has previously directed the drama film The Sparrow (2019) and several documentaries for both television and cinema.

This film is part of

Fiction Focus: Kurdistan

Original title Nachbarn

Country Switzerland

Year 2021

Director Mano Khalil

Screenplay Mano Khalil

Cinematography Stéphane Kuthy

Producer Mano Khalil

Cast Serhed Khalil, Jalal Altawil, Jay Abdo, Heval Naif

Production Company Frame Film

Runtime 2h 4m

Language Kurdisk, Arabic, Hebrew

Subtitles English

Genre Drama

Format DCP

Age limit 12

Links IMDb

This film is in competition for the Audience Award.

What about these films?