For an estimated population of 4 million, Lebanon boasts some 200,000 foreign domestic workers, contracted under a system of full custodianship that deprives them of basic rights. Implemented since the start of the civil war (1975), this system is borrowed from similar ones in the Gulf countries. It is predicated on a transaction whereby the worker is not providing a service, but is rather commodified as a product, with specialised agencies organising their import under conditions not unlike modern-day outposts of slavery. Director Maher Abi Samra places his camera inside the offices of the El Raed agency with the full complicity of its owner Zein.
- Peace Film Prize - Berlinale Forum
- DOK.horizonte - DOK.fest Munich
- Best Non-Fiction Prize - Dubai IFF
- Moncef Taleb
- Maher Abi Samra
- Claire Mathon
- Rana Sabbagha
- ORJOUANE PRODUCTIONS
- DOC & FILM INTERNATIONAL
Maher Abi Samra was born in Beirut in 1965. He studied Drama Arts at the Lebanese University in Beirut and Audio-Visual Studies at the Institut National de l’Image et du Son in Paris. He then become a photojournalist for Lebanese dailies and international agencies. He has directed several short and feature length documentaries including SHATILA ROUND-ABOUT (2004 - Prix Ulysse du Documentaire in Festival Cinéma Méditerranéen Montpellier, 2006), WOMEN OF HEZBOLLAH (2000), and CHRONICLE OF RETURNING (1995). Notably, his feature documentary, WE WERE COMMUNISTS, was selected at Venice IFF in 2010, followed by the more recent, A MAID FOR EACH (MAKHDOUMIN), which was selected at the Berlinale Forum 2016.