In Syria

Synopsis: A mother attempts to keep her family safe as war rages and a sniper lies in wait outside her home. This nerve-wracking study of life in Damascus won an Audience Award at Berlinale.
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Philippe Van Leeuw
  11 wins & 7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
85 min

Inside Life


Are you watching the wedding again?


Did you meet this reporter?

Yes, everything is arranged.

We meet him and his middleman

today at the university.

He brings us to Beirut.

How is he?


He is cool.

Are we having problems with the baby?

No, on the contrary.

He looks French.

The little one will not be

noticed when we are together.

What's up, darling?

What's going on, Samir?

I am ashamed.

Because we are fleeing?

Look where we are.

Don't let anyone tell you

something different now.

Nobody will change my mind.

It's just hard

to leave everything behind,

what we have built.

I know.

But we have no choice.

I have to go.

He wants to interview students.

I am supposed to help him.

Why did you come home then?

To see you.

I love you.

I love you too.


It's terrible, Halima's husband is dead,

shot in the parking lot.

What are you saying?

- Where is he? I don't see him.

- Behind the car there.

I see him.

- Are you sure that's him?

- I wish I wasn't.

What should we do?

We can't leave him.

How do you want to get him?

Do you want to be shot too?

At the moment we can't do anything.

Only when it gets dark.

Halima will not wait that long.

Don't tell her anything!

She must not know, understood?

- But...

- Maybe it's not him.

It's him, I saw it.

Shut up and say nothing.

And if he is not dead?

Do you want to get him?

Then do as I say.

Pull yourself together.

- Good Morning.

- Good Morning.

Clean the bathroom, Delhani.

Something wrong?

No nothing.

Mom, can I use the other one?

No, you know that.

Grandpa has been in there for an hour.

It will stink.

Be quiet.

Is everything OK?

Why are you half naked?

- Mummy!

- This way it will stink less later.

- Don't forget to rinse with the bucket.

- No, mom.

What are you doing there?

The other bathroom stinks.

That is no reason.

What if everyone does it?

That's how we waste water.

Kareem. Kareem!

Stand up and help

the girl with the water.

Why are you not dressed?

And clean up your things.

Why are you looking out there?

Forget the world out there.

She does not count anymore.

Girls? Come in quickly.

- That's far away, mom.

- Come in now!

Come on. You can continue when it stops.

- But Delhani...

- No, Aliya. Does she have her cell phone?

- I don't know.

- I'll call her.

Call your father too.

I have to talk to him.

Come up, Delhani.

We'll do that later.

- Did you see him?

- No, from there you don't see anything.

- Why did I have to come back?

- I don't want to take any chances.

- You always want to control everything.

- I beg your pardon?

Help me with the door.

I have to go up to our apartment,

there is still milk.

Do you think you'll find her?

The bomb hit the living room,

not the kitchen.

Surely someone has already stolen the milk.

I will still look.

Ask Delhani to open the door.

Hurry up,

so she doesn't stay open too long.


By the way, we are leaving the country.

I wanted to say it when Samir is back.

We're leaving today.

I know, we should have told you earlier.

- Does anyone know about it?

- No, nobody.


Let's keep it for ourselves.

I'll help you with the door.

Hurry up.

I don't know

how to thank you for your help.

In the beginning I was

a bit afraid of you.

But now I admire you.

You are a brave woman.

We are all brave.

You too, Halima.

And even more in the future.

- Mom, it's burning!

- Where?

Here, bring this to your grandfather.

Tell your sisters,

they should come to eat.

Yazan, my darling.

Come here.

Thank you.

Will you bring me a tea, my dear boy?

- Grandpa wants a tea.

- I'll bring one to him.

Get your sisters!

Did you sleep well?

No, not really.

Stop it. Don't you think about anything else?

I just feel like it.

We are lucky

that we are stuck together here.

- Don't you think so?

- I don't know.

Mama says you should come eat.

Do you see? He spies on us.

Stay in the kitchen, sweetheart.

All in the kitchen!

Come on, father. Yara, Aliya, Delhani!

Get the baby. Delhani, lock the door.

- Wait, I'm coming.

- Let her in and close the door.

What's up, Delhani? Go on.

Go to the kitchen.

- Where is my son?

- With Yara.

- Where is Aliya?

- In the bathroom.

- I'll get her.

- Quick!

- Did you reach your father?

- No signal.

- All plundered upstairs.

- I told you.

Unbelievable. Everything is smashed.

Did you hear something last night?

Come on, calm down. All right.

- Where is your sister?

- In the bathroom. There she is safe.

Your father said

in an emergency, all in the kitchen.

And everybody means everybody.

What did your father say?

What did you do in the bathroom?

You wash your hair,

although we hardly have water?

- Did you shave?

- Yes, it tickles.

Don't go.

I look for her.

I look on the second floor.

He can't be that far down.

Let's go.

- We have to tell her.

- I know.

It's not good for me to be here.

- What else am I doing here?

- Where else would you go?

I have to think about my son.

I don't want to die here.

No one is going to die, Delhani. Nobody.

Look at me, I was born without a home.

Am I complaining?

Out of this home

nobody will drive me away.

Nobody, do you understand?

Now get the rest of the water.

And more to wipe the floor.

Just look how dusty it is.

Abou, you scared me.

Don't worry, girl.

- Where are the toothpicks?

- In the buffet.

Why are you so restless today?

Look at me. Tell me what's going on.

- I can't tell.

- Tell me.

Please don't, she has forbidden me.

Is it about the couple

from the apartment on the fifth floor?

- Do you promise not to tell anyone?

- Yes, good. Now tell me.

Halima's husband has been shot.

This morning in the parking lot.

- Here on the street?

- Yes.

- And you saw it?

- Yes.

- Is he dead?

- I think so.

- Who knows about it?

- Only the Madame and me.


Don't tell anyone, understood?

Is that clear?

Kareem, go into the living room,

if you just hang out.

I don't want you in the bedroom.

Come on, get out of here.

Help Delhani

to bring the remaining water.

What are you doing, darling?

You should study.

Grandpa is waiting for you.

Come on.

- Mummy?

- Yes?

- Why does Delhani say she dies?

- She doesn't die.

I don't want her to die.

Will you die?

- One day I will.

- Will Delhani be with you then?

Nobody will die.

The war is over soon.

Then we are all safe again.

And now get dressed and go to Grandpa.


- Mummy!

- Come along.

Watch out, father! Yara! Aliya!

Go to grandpa.

Close the windows!

Delhani, stuff wet cloth

under the doors!

- Are you all right?

- Yes.

Quick, Delhani.

Everything OK?

Aliya, my child, out there is war.

It will take a while longer.

Kareem, you should not

stay in the bedroom.

Look if you receive internet radio.

- What did you say?

- Nothing.

Liar. I know that you have

told my father-in-law.

Shut up, damn it!

- What do you want?

- Is everything OK?

Yes we're fine. Go away.

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Philippe Van Leeuw

Philippe Van Leeuw is a Belgian film director, screenwriter and cinematographer. He made his feature-length debut in 2009 with The Day God Walked Away. In 2017, he wrote and directed Insyriated, which premiered at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival. At the 8th Magritte Awards, the film won all six awards it was nominated for, tying the Magritte Awards record for most awards won (alongside Mr. Nobody), including Best Film and Best Director for Van Leeuw. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "In Syria" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jul 2024. <>.

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