France - Egypt

278min - 35 mm - 1.85 - Color - Dolby SR - Historical Drama

Original language : Arabic / Hebrew / French


Rim Turki
Orwa Nyrabia
Hala Omran
Hiam Abbas
Béatrice Dalle


Director: Yousri Nasrallah

Adapted from the novel "Bab El Chams" by Elias Khoury

Producer : Humbert Balsan
Production Company : OGNON PICTURES
Co-producer : Marianne Khoury & Gabriel Khoury
Co-production Company : MISR Films International

Screenplay : Elias Khoury, Mohamed Soueid & Yousry Nasrallah
Director of photography : Samir Bahsan
Sound : Dominique Hennequin
Music : Tamer Karawan
Editing : Luc Barnier
Costumes : Nahed Nasrallah

Festivals & Awards

2004 :
Cannes - Official Selection - Out of Competition
Locarno Film Fest
Montreal Film Fest
Vancouver Film Fest
New York Film Fest
Washington Film Fest
London Film Fest
Torino Film Fest
Marrakech Film Fest


Las Palmas FF
Natfilmfest (DK)
Philadelphia FF
Chicago Arab FF
Trek FF in Roma
Jerusalem FF
Melbourne FF
SF Arab FF

Door To The Sun (The )

Bab El Chams

a film by :Yousry Nasrallah

In the beginning was Palestine, just when the story of Younes' life began. Younes sometimes went under the name of Abou Salem, sometimes the Man and some other times Ibrahim's father. He fought the English Army at the age of 16 and was still fighting them, an outlaw in his own country, seeking refuge in Lebanon. This was also when the story of his wife Nahila began – she became his bride at the age of 12, she was to breast-feed their first baby during the exhausting walks as she fled with the other villagers towards the North and left behind their burnt-down house. He would visit her in Bab El Chams, a cave in Galilee and tell her about Saladin and Nasser and Nahil believed his tales. All of Bab El Chams echoed with his dauntless feats and after each late-night visit she would bear a new baby and raise it all by herself. This was also the story of Younes' father, Cheikh Ibrahim, the old blind man who knew where the sun stood just by the smell of the trees lining the exile roads. This was also the story of Doctor Khalil, forsaken by his own mother in the confusion of the refugee camps. He was to accommodate Younes who was in a deep coma in Beirut and to lull his pain by telling him about the tragic story of his people. And this was the story of Chams, whom Khalil loved and who was executed by her comrades-in-arms. This was the story of the Palestinians, driven forcefully from the camps in Galilee to the camps in Lebanon, enduring fifty years of hardship, of hope and of love.

French Synopsis :

Au commencement était la Palestine, et commençait l’histoire de Younès, dit Abou Salem, dit l’Homme, dit le père d’Ibrahim, combattant les Anglais à 16 ans, depuis toujours combattant, mais retranché au Liban, et clandestin dans son propre pays ; commençait aussi l’histoire de Nahila sa femme mariée à lui à 12 ans, qui allaitera leur premier-né lors des marches épuisantes des villageois en route pour le Nord, fuyant leurs maisons incendiées, Nahila qu’il retrouvait dans la grotte de Bab El Chams, en Galilée ; il lui parlait de Saladin et de Nasser, Nahila le croyait, tout Bab El Chams résonnait de ses exploits héroïques, et après chaque rencontre nocturne naissait un enfant que Nahila élevait seule. Celle aussi du père de Younès, Cheik Ibrahim, le vieil aveugle qui connaissait la place du soleil en respirant les arbres le long des chemins de l’exil. Et encore l’histoire du docteur Khalil, abandonné par sa mère dans le désordre des camps, et qui recueillera à Beyrouth Younès dans le coma, le berçant de l’histoire tragique de son peuple ; et c‘est encore celle de Chams que Khalil aimait, et qui fut exécutée par ses compagnons d’armes. L’histoire du peuple palestinien, bousculé des camps de Galilée aux camps du Liban, cinquante ans d’histoire faite de souffrance, d’espoir et d’amour.


>>Download the images