Journey with Mohamed Malas through Damascus in Dreams of The City, his partly autobiographical debut film which marked the transition to auteur cinema in Syria.
When his father dies, Dib, his younger brother and their mother (Yasmine Khlat) move away from their hometown Quneitra to Damascus. The mother’s despotic father reluctantly takes them in and tries to force the mother to remarry. Overwhelmed by the magic of the city, Dib wants to discover everything and is full of dreams. His daily life is shaped by insults and punishments however. Dib grows up against a backdrop of the political upheavals of the 1950s (the end of the military dictatorship in Syria and the nationalization of the Suez Canal, Nasser’s taking of power in Cairo, Egyptian and Syrian unification in 1958) and loses his childish illusions in the face of such violence and brutality. The dreams of the city prove to be a nightmare.