The war in Syria remains in the news. We are aware of the facts, but what’s the effect of war on the human spirit? Through the stories of three Syrian women, Chaos bears witness to the scarred existence of the survivors. One of them lives in Damascus, spending her days in silence as she grieves for her teenage son. Another has fled the country to a Swedish village, where she's coping with her traumas by painting. The third woman is Sara Fattahi herself, the film’s director, who now lives in Vienna. She’s portrayed on-screen by an actor, while excerpts from a radio interview with the Austrian author Ingeborg Bachmann give expression to Fattahi’s innermost feelings.
Fattahi frequently films her three subjects in close-up—zooming in on part of a face or a hand—but she explores their immediate surroundings with equal attention to detail; interiors speak to us, the winds whisper clues, the rain is tangible. Beguiling our senses, she draws us into processes of profound grief and inner disengagement. Chaos won the Filmmakers of the Present Golden Leopard at the 2018 Locarno Festival.