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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IDFA is revamping its competitions September 1, 2015 | From the next festival edition, the IDFA juries will grant two awards in each competition: one for best documentary, and a special jury award. A new award will also be presented for the best international youth documentary. All jury awards will be presented on Wednesday, November 25.
Help crowdfund Laila at the Bridge September 1, 2015 | Against all odds, an Afghan woman risks everything to save heroin addicts in Kabul, and ends up also saving herself in Laila at the Bridge. The film was previously supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund. Now, directors Gulistan Mirzaei and Elissa Sylvia Mirzaei need your help to finish their film!
IDFA Awards given out in Durban, Montevideo and Sarajevo August 27, 2015 | Three IDFA Awards were handed out over the summer to promising projects pitched at three international film markets. As part of the awards, all winners will attend IDFA in November.

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IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 7 hour ago
More awards and new competition for international youth documentary at #IDFA15 -- press release: https://t.co/eTLkBFTUZ8
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IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 1 day ago
@daniellebeverly We hope so too! The entry deadline is tomorrow...
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