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Concrete Valley film image, director Antoine Bourges

Concrete Valley

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Among the massive concrete block towers of Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park neighborhood, a Syrian doctor struggles to hold on to his cultural identity as his family begins to grow roots in their new community. Working as an unlicensed physician for his neighbors in an attempt to cling to his old identity, tensions rise and begin to threaten his fragile marriage.

Understated cinematography and a patient camera disguise the fraught drama at the heart of Antoine Bourges’ (Fail to Appear) sophomore feature. Bressonian in its approach, employing minimalism, non-professional actors, and a deceptively simple plot, the film blends fact and fiction into a quietly gripping drama with an unshakeable sense of realism. Anchored by the lead performances and a pair of unforgettable scenes in an English as a Second Language class, Bourges crafts a tender portrait that asks if adjusting to a new culture always costs one a piece of their identity.


Q&A Oct 3 & Oct 5


This film is also available on VIFF Connect


Presented by

Media Partner

Global BC Logo


Hussam Douhna, Amani Ibrahim, Abdullah Nadaf, Lynn Nantume

Country of Origin





In English and Arabic with English subtitles

Film Contact
90 min

Book Tickets

Wednesday October 05

9:15 pm
The Cinematheque
Book Now

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Production Design

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Antoine Bourges headshot, Concrete Valley director

Antoine Bourges

Antoine Bourges is a Paris-born filmmaker currently based between Toronto and Vancouver. He is an alumnus of Berlinale Talents, TIFF Filmmaker lab, and the New York Film Festival’s Artist Academy. His shorts, Woman Waiting (2010) and William in White Shirt (2015), along with his mid-length film East Hastings Pharmacy (2012), have screened at the Berlinale, TIFF, Viennale, Ann Arbor Film Festival, and NY Museum of Moving Images. His first feature, Fail to Appear (2017), was presented at Art of the Real, Cinéma du Réel, and BAFICI, among other festivals. It was released theatrically in Canada in 2018.

Filmography: East Hastings Pharmacy (2012); Fail to Appear (2017)