• Story line
    How to survive in the detention camp of Khiam in South Lebanon?

    Set up in 1985, in the security zone occupied by Israel since 1978, the detention camp of Khiam was run by Israel’s auxiliary militia, the South Lebanon Army. Arbitrariness and torture prevailed in this place of “no-law” until the Israeli withdrawal in May 2000.

    Sonia, Afif, Soha, Rajae, Kifah, Neeman spent more than ten years in that hell.

    They describe how to live, sleep, dream and think between the four walls of a 1m80x80 cell for 6 or 10 years.

    In those cells, all they had was their prison garb, a mattress and a blanket.

    Deprived of basic necessities, the prisoners recreated them, picking up secretly and hiding bits of string, wood and stone, cheese wrappers, olive stones, garbage. They unraveled their socks and their blankets, cut up their sweaters, turned pinches of earth into pigments. They secretly produced a needle, a pencil, strings of beads made of olive stones, flowers, sculptures, a chess game. The prisoners developed and exchanged extraordinary production techniques to be able to communicate, to create, to disobey and to preserve that very sense of humanity that such a camp tries to eradicate.

    This document was filmed with a sense of urgency, as intimate testimonies just before the camp was dismantled. Rather than a political condemnation, it attempts a metaphysical reflection on man’s willpower and wish to live. It is also a work on representation and its limits, on evocation, on being confronted to an experience which can hardly be shared, camp life and detention.
  • production


    Abbout Productions

    Production Date


    Editing and post-production

    Djinn house
    Auditorium de l’iesav
  • cast and crew


    Raja’ Abou Haman, Kifah AfifAi??, Sonia Baydoun, Soha Bechara, Afif Hammoud, Neeman Nasrallah
    English titleKhiam
    Original titleKhiam
    DirectorsJoana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige
    Beta Digital
    Original FormatvidAi??o Mini DV
    Language for dialoguesArabic
    SubtitlesEnglish or French
    Image and soundJoana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige
    EditingMichA?le Tyan
    Sound EditingMarcello
    MixingJean Gebran
    World SellerIdAi??ale Audience Internationale, Susanna Scott
  • Directors Note
  • screenings

Privacy Preference Center

Strictly Necessary

Cookies that are necessary for the site to function properly.



These are used to track user interaction and detect potential problems. These help us improve our services by providing analytical data on how users use this site.


Close your account?

Your account will be closed and all data will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered. Are you sure?