I'm not Lakit

Project Representative: Marie Surae

Country: Lebanon & Romania

Tagline: A Lakit is someone without nationality, home, parents or even a surname.He has no right to study, work, travel or to even be a person. But above all, he is a human being and therefore he has a future. 


Saleh lives in the house for the homeless in the mountains, not far away from the historic Lebanese city of Byblos. He has no family name, no nationality, no passport, no religious belonging. Saleh is a lakit. According to the Islamic dictionary, lakit is an illegitimate, abandoned child. In some Middle Eastern countries children born out of wedlock by law have no right to live a full life, they might as well not exist. In a country where the most important things are your family name, ancestry, religion and nationality, these people are deprived of it all through no fault of their own. They do not have a right to go to school or college, to travel, they won’t be hired for a job.

Though Saleh is not a child anymore, he is 23, but he looks like he is 16. He can’t read or write and has difficulty speaking. Most of his life Saleh spent in the Home of Hope. This place looks and functions more like a prison. Saleh wasn’t enrolled in school because lakits are not allowed to study. The orphanage punished children by locking them in the bathroom for five days. During those five days they ate in the bathroom too. Saleh tried to run away several times, but he was caught.

I'm not Lakit is a full-length documentary film. It has already participated in the pitching of the Transilvania International Film Festival.


Author Bio

Marie Surae, director, writer & producer

Marie Surae is a director, screenwriter and producer with over 16 years of experience in the film industry, including years of commitment to the Lebanese cultural scene. She was born in Moscow in 1983. She graduated from the Faculty of Journalism of Moscow State University. She started as a documentary filmmaker and switched to feature films. As a producer she filmed more than 100 documentaries for TV channels. In 2014 the short fiction film The Last One or Sonuncu (a co-production between Russia and Azerbaijan) produced by Marie was selected for the Official Competition of Short Films at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, it later participated in 87 film festivals and received 9 awards. In 2017 Marie directed a documentary short Muhamad and a documentary midlength film about Syrian refugees Fleeing the War. The film received a special award from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Russia and the main Critics' Choice Award at the Stalker International Film Festival. In 2021 Marie finished her debut feature The Anger (a co-production between Lebanon and Germany). The star of French cinema, actress Manal Issa plays the lead role. The cinematographer is Tommaso Fiorilli. In the spring of 2021 Marie has started working on her next film under the title I’m not Lakit (Lebanon, Romania) which is shot in Lebanon too. The cinematographer is Marius Panduru. In August 2021 Marie shot a documentary 10 and Virginia with Marius Panduru as cinematographer.