Of Fathers and Sons

عن الأباء والأبناء

  • Talal Derki
  • Germany, Syria, Lebanon
  • 2017
  • 98 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

If you want to tame your nightmares, you need to capture them first. That’s what Syrian documentary filmmaker Talal Derki learned from his father. As in his previous film Return to Homs, he returns to his homeland and becomes part of life in a war zone. For more than two years he lives with the family of Abu Osama, an Al-Nusra fighter in a small village in northern Syria, focusing his camera mainly on the children. From a young age, the boys are trained to follow in their father’s footsteps and become soldiers of God. The horrors of war and the intimacy of family life are never far from one another. At the nearby battlefront Abu Osama fights against the enemy, while at home he cuddles with the boys and dreams of the caliphate. Talal Derki sets out to capture the moment when the children have to let go of their youth and are finally turned into Jihadi fighters. No matter how close the war comes, there's one thing they've already learned: they must never cry. 


  • 98 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic
  • Subtitles in: English
Talal Derki
Tobias N. Siebert for BASIS Berlin Filmproduktion, Eva Kemme for BASIS Berlin Filmproduktion, Ansgar Frerich for BASIS Berlin Filmproduktion, Hans Robert Eisenhauer for Ventana Film
Executive producer
Dan Cogan for Impact Partners, Jenny Raskin for Impact Partners, Geralyn Dreyfous for Impact Partners
Cinema Group Production
Kahtan Hassoun

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
Supported with €40000 for Europe: International Co-production

Share this film

Print this page

IDFA history

This website uses cookies.

By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

 here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies