The Song of the Valley


 “It’s too hard to live in Lebanon. Everywhere is warmth and heat. Syria is my homeland, where my beloved resides”. So goes the improvised song of Ammar, describing his discontent exiled from Syria, living in a Lebanese refugee camp, near Anjar in the Bekaa Valley, near the Syrian border. Like Ammar, millions are waiting for the end of the brutal war, living in tents in makeshift camps. Metropolitan Beirut, is just about two hours away by car. Before the Lebanese Civil War, Beirut was considered a jewel of a city, called the Paris of the East, or Switzerland of the Orient. Captured on camera are Syrian refugees and Lebanese, singing and talking about their experiences, their daily lives, their desires and their dreams, brought together in the same country–Lebanon. Full of devotion, they sing about love, country and religion. By interweaving poetry, interviews, and songs in such a manner, we have been able to show the hardships people face in these places shaken by years-long crises, yet also the strength and dignity they have retained in spite of their circumstances.


Technical Sheet

Directors: Matthias Leupold, Marie Séférian

Music and Vocals: Marie Séférian

Translations: Mardiros Palazian, Saema Saleh

Consulting Beirut: Souhila Kara-allel, Masha Traber, Walaa Ismail, Lotti Und Faouzi Adaimi, Abdallah Annan

Driver: Dani Habchi

Support in Beirut: Elina Achkar, Chouki Abinakle

Speaker: Jean-Claude Séférian

Motion Design: Marcel Schobel

Animation: Christian Mahler

Maps: Jesse Simon, Dorothea Franz, Salomé Wagner

Color Grading: Laif Kardelke

Sounddesign: Khalil Chahine, Phil Freeborn

Editing: Lilian Leupold

Production: Leupold Film Production Berlin

Cinematography/Editor: Matthias Leupold

Website: monospace


DOK.fest Munich, Nominated for German Documentary Music Award 2020


2020, original languages AR, FR, 50, 52 und 45:54 min




Draft for video installation "The Song of the Valley" in the gallery Bernd Lausberg, Photo+ Düsseldorf, 2020, not realised