First to Fall

  • Rachel Beth Anderson
  • England, United States
  • 2013
  • 80 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for First Appearance
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Two friends abandon their peaceful lives in Canada and return to their home country of Libya to fight in the revolution. Hamid (26) and Tarek (21) have never fired a gun, but in 2011 they run recklessly toward the war, fueled by their hatred of Muammar Gaddafi and their desire to be part of history. Once they get to Libya, their paths diverge immediately – Hamid blazes ahead with fearless enthusiasm, easily fitting into the boyish camaraderie among the rebel forces. Tarek's journey is more introspective and unsure. He's far from a natural-born soldier. Untrained fighters in an unconventional war, these boys risk everything to reach the front lines of battle. For eight months, the cameras document raw moments of personal and breathtakingly dangerous acts of war and sacrifice as Hamid and Tarek join the rebels taking on Gaddafi's army. Director Rachel Beth Anderson captures the chaos and giddiness of revolution, the brutal loss of lives and innocence. Her intimate interviews with Hamid and Tarek chart their descent into war as they discover who they are and what they are capable of. In Tarek's words, “The end of the story is different than what I thought.”


  • 80 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English, Arabic
  • Subtitles in: English
Rachel Beth Anderson
Timothy Grucza
Tony Gerber for Market Road Films
Executive producer
Mike Lerner for Roast Beef Productions, Brandon Litman for One Day on Earth
Lynn Nottage
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IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for First Appearance

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IDFA history