Return to Homs

Talal Derki, Syria / Germany, 2013, color, DCP, 87'
Synopsis

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, and the 24-year-old media activist and cameraman Ossama. 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. Basset's a cappella protest songs are the only soundtrack, apart from the "silence, interrupted only by birds and bullets." 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.”

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Screening Copy
Proaction Film
Distribution Benelux
IDFA Bertha Fund
Website
http://www.return...com/
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IDFAcademy Summer School 2016 April 12, 2016 | The IDFAcademy Summer School has announced the sixteen selected projects for the 2016 edition of the week-long training program, held July 4-9.
Ally Derks announces her departure from IDFA in 2017 April 5, 2016 | Having spent almost thirty years at the head of IDFA, founder and festival director Ally Derks has decided to leave the festival in 2017, after the festival's 30th anniversary. Derks: "That seems like a good moment to say farewell and pass on the baton to the next generation."
IDFA Bertha Fund announces February 2016 selection April 5, 2016 | Eleven documentary projects from countries including Colombia, Kenya, Georgia and Iran will be supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund through its classic scheme. Another nine projects have been selected in the new IBF Europe category.
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