On the Edge of Life

  • Yaser Kassab
  • Syria
  • 2017
  • 45 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Paradocs
When the Syrian civil war reached the city center of Damascus, filmmaker Yaser Kassab and his wife Rima fled to Lebanon. On hearing the news that Yaser's brother had passed away in Aleppo, they continued to a remote and abandoned place in Turkey. For 18 months, Yaser and Rima live here, with nothing to do except wait and grieve. The couple’s thoughts are constantly with their family members who decided to stay in Syria. They maintain contact through unreliable Skype connections and shattered smartphone screens, feeling beaten and powerless as if they have been placed outside time—lost in a kind of hibernation. With dark images that are likely metaphorical, Kassab documents the passive side of war where there is no action or violence—only the endless monotony of an uncertain future, and the apathy that comes along with it. This claustrophobic personal account covers sadness, memories and the hope for a better future.


  • 45 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic
  • Subtitles in: English
Yaser Kassab
Rima Alhamedd
Yaser Kassab for Zenloop
Yaser Kassab
Yaser Kassab

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere

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IDFA history

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