Ibrahim lives in Bab Al Tabbaneh, one of the most marginalized neighborhoods of Tripoli in northern Lebanon, where feuds associated with two civil wars—the Lebanese and the Syrian—are tearing the community apart. There are few job opportunities here, certainly for Ibrahim, who has a criminal record. Now his wife is pregnant, and he dreams of a devout Muslim life, work and a home of his own. But usually the temptations of drugs, alcohol and illegal gambling are too strong.
Ibrahim is one of many lost young men without prospects who hang out in streets that are threateningly patrolled by the army. Violence can explode at any minute. A Long Breath follows Ibrahim and his family over a turbulent six-month period.
From time to time, Ibrahim retreats to a vacant, unfinished theater designed by Oscar Niemeyer, which seems to symbolize his hopes and dreams for a better life. The careful observation yields concise and sometimes bittersweet scenes from the struggling lives of hot-tempered men and silent women in a politically unstable and explosive region.