As a kid rides his tricycle around the courtyard fountain, an invisible snake silently slithers across the marble walls. Its dwellers believe it safeguards a secret memory, an unspoken heritage that no one but the snake can perceive.
This and many other tales of homes with a name and identity offer a glimpse of the Syria that international observers often fail to see.
Produced in 2010, before the Syrian Uprising, Damascus Roof and Tales of Paradise takes you by the hand across the courtyards of Damascus to unveil the legends that hide beneath the city’s ornamented ceilings.
“The Damascene house feels like a living being to its residents; it has its own voice in the wood when it moans, in the stones as you step over them… so they respond to it”, one of the dwellers says.
Produced by Syrian director Soudade Kaadan, this award-winning documentary explores the city’s architectural changes through the lenses of the city’s many ‘Don Quixotes‘, those legendary storytellers who struggle to keep the city’s mystic folk tales from perishing.
After all, what is left when a city is destroyed, but the tales of those who built it?