Laurence (Babe), a French-Lebanese journalist revisiting Beirut to research her late father's history, finds a once ruined city in the slow throes of revival. She also encounters an old colleague, Rachid (Corraface), a fugitive from the continuing violence in Algiers, troubled by drink and bad memories. The drama, however, remains in the past, or otherwise offscreen. Briefly sketched, the terror racking the director's home country looms like a shadow over the characters, and the film, yet remains essentially an abstraction. Despite its evocative b/w photography and warm performances, dramatically the film seems a non-starter.