Return to Homs

  • Talal Derki
  • Syria, Germany
  • 2013
  • 87 min
  • Top 10

Filmed between August 2011 and August 2013, this is a remarkably intimate portrait of a group of young revolutionaries in the city of Homs in western Syria. They dream of their country being free from President Bashar al-Assad and fight for justice through peaceful demonstrations. As the army acts ever more brutally and their city is transformed into a ghost town, the young men become armed insurgents.

The protagonists are two friends: Basset, the charismatic 19-year-old goalkeeper of the national soccer team whose revolutionary songs make him the voice of the protest movement in his neighborhood of Bayada, and the 24-year-old media activist and cameraman Ossama from the adjacent Khaldeeye neighborhood. The close-up camerawork takes the viewer right into the group.

Scenes of lively protest parties make way for panicking civilians on the run, followed by grim battles in a deserted city, and rising numbers of fallen loved ones. From time to time, the director makes a comment in voice-over: “The world is watching how we are getting killed one by one, while it remains silent as the grave.”


  • 87 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic
  • Subtitles in: English
Talal Derki
Orwa Nyrabia for Proaction Film, Hans Robert Eisenhauer for Ventana Film
Kahtan Hassoun, Ossama al Homsi, Talal Derki, Orwa Nyrabia
Anna Fabini
Involved TV Channel

IDFA history

Top 10
World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
Supported with €16000 for Classic: Production & postproduction

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