Ladder to Damascus

Ladder to Damascus is being shown as part of Duke University's Screen/Society—Middle East Film Series: Arts of the Revolution.

A Syrian film shot in Damascus months after the outbreak of the 2011 insurgency, under a shroud of secrecy and at great risk to the crew, Ladder to Damascus is a searing drama that weaves fiction and documentary with elements of the fantastical. In a century-old home in the center of the city, twelve young Syrians from across the country rent rooms, having moved to the capital in pursuit of studies or professional ambition after the insurgency broke out in the countryside. Huddled within the confines of the elegant house as the uprising gradually erupts in the city, they can no longer ignore the calls for freedom. Ladder to Damascus is a captivating window into the psyche of ordinary Syrians grappling with a historic upheaval.

Beginning with an homage to the late Omar Amiralay, a fearless Syrian dissident and documentary filmmaker, Ladder to Damascus concludes that emancipation can only spring from love, and revolution from desire. c. TIFF

View Trailer

This screening is FREE and open to the public.

Directed by: Mohammad Malas, 2013.

Screenplay by: Samer Mohamad Ismail and Mohammad Malas

In Arabic with English subtitles.

Running Time: 1 hrs 35 mins.

Show time at 7:00 PM. We'll meet outside the auditorium about 15 mins before, then find seats together. Afterwards, we can grab a bite to eat at Alivia's Durham Bistro at 900 W Main St.

Parking Info: There is parking for White Hall on Campus Dr or nearby street parking in neighborhood on W Trinity Ave. There is free parking across the street for Alivia's for those that are interested in post film gathering.

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  • shelli

    loved the film.

    February 11, 2014

  • Shawna

    I liked this experimental film a lot. There was no explicit violence in the streets shown but a more introspective piece aligning the tragic events with its focus on a girl haunted by the soul of another who drowned the day she was born. I thought the men in the film were sensitive and caring towards the women. I also like the Ibn Hazm quote, "you are haunted by people who are like you".

    3 · February 11, 2014

  • Henry H.

    Even though they lived under a dictatorship, Once upon a time the people of Syria lived in a secular state where minorites(10% Christian, 10% Alewite, 6% other non Sunni groups) were protected, women had more rights that many other countries in the area, people had decent education, medical care, food, and most citizens warm homes and hot water. Ask yourself-is the continued misery caused by the intervention in the Syrian conflict by the gulf kingdoms and Saudi worth the overthrow of the Assad dictatorship? Is not the finacing and recruiting of jihadists for a brutal attack on a secular govt. by the conservative kingdoms an act of terror?? See below.

    February 10, 2014

    • shelli

      Let us not forget also that Arab Israeli's are not eligable to all the rights that I am as a Jewish Israeli...

      February 10, 2014

    • Beverly S.

      My relatives had the opposite experience!

      February 10, 2014

  • Elizabeth J.

    Speaking of Homs Syria, the Economist just printed this. The photo is horrifying, even without people in it.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2014/02/jesuits-and-syria?fsrc=nlw|newe|[masked]|[masked]|[masked]

    February 10, 2014

  • Shawna

    Here's a timeline overview of key events in Syria from 1918 to present day: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14703995.

    2 · February 10, 2014

    • Miri

      Excellent summary- my Ed. on Syrian/ME history specifically is so limited. Thx for the link. Sad to say, I won't be able to make it tonite- despite the free aspect. Enjoy.

      February 10, 2014

    • shelli

      Thanks Shawna. That was very helpful.

      February 10, 2014

  • Shawna

    Pamela, we are at Satisfaction in Brightleaf.

    February 10, 2014

  • Henry H.

    See below. Bahrain scared the unpopular kingdoms to strike back at the Shias. The conservative and puritanical Wahabi religion In Saudi regards most Shia as not being Muslin and certainly Alewites (10% of Syria). Feeling their restive populations may be enticed to revolt by Shia govt. in Iran, Iraq, and Syria, they have provided most of the funding for the attack on the secular Assad dictaorship. Saudi has spend $ 100 billlion on Wahabi missions around the world-and these teaching and madressas have spured Sunni-Shia conflict and provided jihadists for many conflicts, including Syria.

    February 10, 2014

  • Henry H.

    Shawna BBC link is a good calendar since Britain and France split up parts of the Ottoman empire,now called the "middle east" after WWI.
    However, BBC hardly ever mentions the sources of funding and fighters for the attack on the secular Assad dictatorship in Syria. After the Shia revolt in Bahrain was brutally put down only after the intervention of the Saudi army, the conservative kingdoms of the gulf and Saudi Arabia have funded and recruited many of the fighters against the Assad regime.

    February 10, 2014

  • Elizabeth J.

    Any suggestions about parking? I vaguely remember some spots along Campus Dr, but even so, they're likely to be filled.

    February 8, 2014

    • Shawna

      Parking info is included in the event description. If you cannot get a spot on Campus Dr, there is street parking in the W Trinity neighborhood just across the street from campus. It's a short but pleasant walk.

      February 9, 2014

    • Elizabeth J.

      Well, there you go. Obviously, I didn't read far enough into the description.

      February 9, 2014

  • shelli

    been attending the Screen Society screenings for years (work at Duke) and always horrified at how under utilized the events are. soooooo glad to see the community take advantage!
    See ya all there.

    February 9, 2014

  • Louise H.

    My son is being inducted into the NJ Lacrosse Hall of Fame on the 9th. Wish I could join you; this one sounds exciting!

    1 · January 28, 2014

  • Eunice

    Very timely. Looks interesting.

    January 31, 2014

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