(Dutch  version below)

The Razor

A film by Salvador Gieling

Two years ago I began writing The Razor, a story that portrays a crucial day in the life of the Syrian barber, Samir, who has been living in Brussels for years. On that day Samir is confronted with a former Colonel from his old village, who was responsible for his leaving of Syria. The story is loosely based on a short story by Vladimir Nabokov (Synopsis below).

The Razor takes place in a barbershop in St. Gilles, in Brussels, and in the Syrian countryside. Sam Du Pon, who is graduated from the Film Academy in Amsterdam, will be doing the cinematography.

One of the leading parts will be portrayed by Majd Mardo, who came is a child from Syria and who graduated from the Acting School in Maastricht.


Director’s statement

The Razor is a film of our times. It must be made now and seen now. What is taking place in Syria does not only have consequences for the Syrian people, but also for the whole world, as we have witnessed in our own countries throughout the last century. That is why it is also a story about European history. War and immigration are of all time.

The story of Samir is tragic and topical; he has left behind war and persecution but even in Brussels he can’t escape his destiny.

I don’t want to talk about current affairs as we see them in the news every day but I want to let the people see a tragic reality that we don’t see everyday. Through the language of poetry and much attention to form I want to show in images what can’t be expressed in words.

Together with these Syrian actors and my crew I want to share this topical and timeless story with the viewer.


Samir Malki (42 yr.) is a Syrian immigrant who has been in Brussels for years. He is an introverted, kind man who has made a life for himself by running his own barbershop. One day when he is alone in the shop another Syrian MAN (52) comes in and asks to to be shaven. They have a nostalgic conversation about their motherland and they discover that they did not live far from each other.

But the conversation changes when Samir finds out that the man was a colonel in the army. What the colonel doesn’t know is that Samir had been imprisoned under his rule because he didn’t want to betray his brother Marouane.

Marouane Malki (26) is on the run in the barren countryside of Syria. He comes across an an old man on his way who tells him that ‘the soldiers are looking for him’. Maroune thanks the man but says he has to continue his journey to find his brother Samir.

During Marouane’s search for his traceless brother we figure out more and more details about the entangled history of Omar, Ibrahim and the Colonel.

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