A Watsch Films Company

Gate #5

A film by Simon El Habre

Documentary, 2011

They were young, loved adventures, and had choices. In the 1960s and 70s, thousands of young Lebanese left their villages and searched for a new life in the city – as countless like-minded people around the globe. The port of Beirut, the city’s economic lung and central urban district, provided work for truck drivers – a job that stressed masculinity and became a lifestyle. The income allowed the young men to participate in the vibrant urban life, to enjoy their time at the always busy Burj Square with its many cinemas and restaurants as well as to start families. 
During the years of the civil war (1975-90) the drivers were needed to maintain the supply of food, goods, and sometimes weapons between the divided sectors of the country. Some were humble, others were heroic, yet all were adventurous and felt free.
After the war ended the once popular Burj Square, the city’s centre, was demolished, privatized and rebuild for the affluent. Lebanese economy was reorganized, thus globalized. Today fancy restaurants in the new downtown charge in Dollar and sometimes in Euro. The truck drivers’ universe shrunk to the port where they offer their skills as day laborers now. Yet mostly they kill time and take long journeys in memory. One of them, Najm El Habre, is too sick to join his friends. He found a different way to carry on.

Producers Abbout Productions (Georges Schoucair)
Co-Producers Six Island Productions (Paul Scherzer), Mec Film (Irit Neidhart)
Cinematography Bassem Fayad
Editor Carine Doumit
Sound Chadi Roukoz
Music Composer Cynthia Zaven
Sound Design Emile Aouad
Co-Production Partner Dubai Entertainment and Media Organization, in association with Dubai Film Market / Enjaaz, In Association with Screen Institute Beirut, In Association with VTR

Festivals & Awards

Dubai International Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Arabische Film Festival.