Neighbours (Mano Khalil) Switzerland. Official Section

Mano Khalil
Switzerland. 2021. 124 min

In a Syrian border village in the early 80’s, little Sero attends school for the first time. A new teacher has arrived with the goal of making strapping Panarabic comrades out of the Kurdish children. To enable paradise to come to earth, he uses the rod to forbid the Kurdish language, orders the veneration of Assad and preaches hate of the “Zionist enemy”- the Jews. The lessons upset and confuse Sero because his long-time neighbors are a lovable Jewish family. With a fine sense of humor and satire, the Film depicts a childhood which manages to find light moments between dictatorship and dark drama. Little Sero gets involved in dangerous pranks with his friends, and dreams of having a television so he can finally watch cartoons. But he also experiences how the adults around him are increasingly crushed by the despotism, violence and nationalism which surround them.
The film was inspired by the director’s personal experiences, and so his bitter-sweet memories connect the Syrian tragedy to the present.


Mano Khalil was born in Kurdistan – Syria.
1981-1986 Studied history and law at Damascus University in Syria. 1987-1994 Studied fiction film direction in the former Czechoslovakia.
1990-1995 Worked as independent film director for Czechoslovakian and later for the Slovakian Television. Since 1996 lives in Switzerland, working as independent film director and producer. 2012 grounded the production film company Frame Film.


2021 Neighbours – Fiction 124 Min
2018 Hafis & Mara – documentary 88 Min
2016 The Swallow – Fiction 102 Min
2013 The Beekeeper – documentary 107 Min
2010 Our garden of Eden. Documentary 97min
2009 My Prison, my Home. Documentary 33 Min.
2007 David the Tolhildan, Documentary, 54 Min
2005 Al-Anfal, in the name of Allah, Baath and Saddam Documentary.
2003 Colorful dreams. Fiction 52 Min
1999 Triumph of Iron. Fic-Doc.
1995 Kino-ocko (Kino eye) Doc.16mm, 20Min
1992 The place where god sleeps. doc.16mm, 30Min