Under the Sky of Damascus

88 min.DK/Documentary

A tight-knit group of young Syrian women embark upon on a radical project: Producing a play that lays bare the culture of misogyny and sexual abuse that has blighted the lives of females in their country for generations. Farah, Eliana, Inana, Souhir and Grace want to blow the whistle on women's oppression, though they know their production will make it even harder for them to get work. Collaborating with exiled Syrian filmmakers Heba Khaled and Talal Derki and Ali Wajeeh on the ground in Damascus the women fan out through the war-weary city to gather individual stories that will form the basis of their play. They record testimonies from across the socio-economic spectrum, from actresses to factory workers to stay-at-home mothers. What emerges are variations of the same harrowing tale: Stories of abuse, blackmail and even imprisonment at hands of husbands, brothers, fathers, employers and powerful officials who wield unchecked patriarchal power to keep them trapped without access to justice.
But the issues explored in both the play and film are closer than they appear... Just as the team of filmmakers and their subjects are making progress in their collaborative expose, one member of the group unexpectedly quits the project. As the truth behind her decision is revealed, everyone involved is forced to confront the very exploitation they’ve been documenting.
Basic information Credits
Original title Under the Sky of Damascus
Danish title Under the Sky of Damascus
Keywords Syria, Teater, Theatre plays, Women, Women's conditions, Repression, Violence, Battered women, Sexual assaults, 2020-2030
Director Heba Khaled, Talal Derki, Ali Wajeeh
Screenplay Heba Khaled
Producer Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær, Talal Derki, Heba Khaled, Beth Earl
Director of Photography Raed Sandeed
Editor Marion Tuor
Sound Mia Joanna Koskela
Composer Ari Jan
Production country Denmark, Germany, Syria, United States
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Production company IMS Documentary Film, Real Lava, Jouzour Film
Co-production Rustic Canyon Pictures, Sama Art
With support from Kong Gulerod Film, Siggi Production, Doha Film Institute
In collaboration with Impact Partners, Daraj


Direction Heba Khaled
Direction Talal Derki
Direction Ali Wajeeh


Screenplay Heba Khaled


Producer Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær
Producer Talal Derki
Producer Heba Khaled
Producer Beth Earl
Executive producer Jenny Raskin
Executive producer Maiken Baird
Executive producer Kelsey Koenig
Executive producer Philippe Levasseur
Executive producer Romain Bessi
Executive producer Ruba El-Khash
Executive producer Burnt Umber
Associate producer Anders V. Christensen
Associate producer Alia Ibrahim


Cinematographer Raed Sandeed


Editor Marion Tuor
Co-editor Ibrahim Nash’at


Composer Ari Jan


Sound designer Mia Joanna Koskela

Visual effects

Colorist Anders V. Christensen
Graphic design Anders V. Christensen

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