When and Where

Thursday, November 23, 2023 6:45 pm to 8:45 pm
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
506 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1Y3


New screening and conversation series taking place at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (all films) and Innis Town Hall (panel discussion): Bidayyat [Beginnings] in Syrian Revolutionary Nonfiction. Supported by JHI's Program for the Arts. The U of Toronto community can get free tickets to the screenings by using code:  BIDAYYATC

Saeed and Milad, two art students living a carefree life in Damascus, decide to join the Syrian revolution. They move to the conservative, working-class suburb of Douma, liberated from Assad regime control. Once there, they capture Douma’s transformation over four years of liberation, war, siege and hunger.

Surviving a chemical attack on neighbouring Ghouta and following the death of a friend, they revive an art project, painting graffiti on the devastated walls of the city. Capturing 500 hours of footage, they confront questions of life and death, peaceful revolution and armed struggle, cameras and guns, and art in times of destruction.

Codirector Saeed al-Batal in attendance for post-screening discussion

In Arabic and English with English subtitles.

  • Directed By: Saeed al-Batal, Ghiath Ayoub
  • 2018
  • Syria, Lebanon, Qatar, Germany
  • 120 minutes

Other events in this series:

Nov 22 | 6:45pm - Our Terrible Country (Baladna alraheeb): Two dissidents embark on a perilous journey from Damascus to Raqqa and then into exile in Turkey as Syria tumbles into the abyss. Tickets https://hotdocs.ca/whats-on/films/our-terrible-country

Nov 24 | 3:00pm - Panel Discussion at Innis Town Hall. Bidayyat: A Smuggler Between Generations. Participants: Saeed al-Batal, Mohammad Ali Atassi, Rania Stephan, Stefan Tarnowski
Nov 24 | 6:45pm - In Fields of Words: Conversations with Samar Yazbek (l-Sahel al-Mumtani'): A film-conversation between a writer and filmmaker questioning the relations between language and cinema as tools to represent war and violence. Tickets https://hotdocs.ca/whats-on/films/in-fields-of-words



World Records, hotdocs, Toronto Arab Film Festival and the Jackman Humanities Institute


506 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1Y3