Daraya: A Library Under Bombs

At the heart of the Syrian civil war, a group of activists created an underground library in the besieged outskirts of Damascus. After years of blockade, they were forced to leave their city. But they managed to save their videos illustrating a unique experiment of cultural resistance under the bombs.

This film, built between the past and the present, follows the story of three friends who met during the 2011 revolution and never gave up on their cultural resistance and peaceful struggle. Despite ceaseless bombing, they not only saved books from the rubble, but created a secret library, which quickly became a safe haven for peace, freedom and democracy: a special experience that they filmed and documented meticulously.

Separated by war and exile, they are striving to reunite with each other. They reminisce on the past and tell us the extraordinary story of the library, based on dozens of hours of video archives. “A Library Under Bombs” is a story of hope and survival.


  • Year: 2018
  • Duration: 64 & 52 mins
  • Production: Brother Films
  • Director: Delphine Minoui, Bruno Joucla
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA, ARA
  • Country of production: France



  • Audience Award at Festival Escales Voyageuses 2022 (France), Grand Prix of FIGRA, section documentaries of over 40 min (FIGRA 2019, France), Youth Jury Award (FIGRA 2019, France), Audience Award (Festival Le Grand Bivouac 2019, France), Jury Prize in the "Portraits" Section (Docs MX 2019, Mexico), 2nd Runner-Up at Japan Prize 2019 in the "Youth" section (Japan), Audience Award at DocsJalisco Festival 2021 (Mexico), FIPADOC 2019 (France), Documed 2019 (Festival du Cinéma Documentaire Méditerranéen en Tunisie), Ethnocineca 2019 (Austria), Documentarist Festival 2019 (Turkey), Festival des Libertés 2019 (Belgium), Films Femmes Méditerranée 2020 (France), Beyond Words Festival 2021 (UK), Festival International De Film Spiritualité-Ethnique-Religion Prix Farel 2021 (Switzerland)

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