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
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
Original title Nachbarn
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
Age limit 12
This film is in competition for the Audience Award.