The Syrian revolution prompted me to rummage through the tales concealed in my family home in the village of Quatna (30 km south of Damascus), stories I had never once discussed with my family.
The house, which my father—an opponent of the Syrian regime during the presidencies of Assad senior and his son—was determined would be a small country of its own, independent of the Baath dictatorship… My father, who during the 1980s suffered from tyranny, the silencing of voicing and the suppression of freedoms, became consumed by his own private dictatorial inclinations, which manifested themselves most clearly in his relationship with my younger brother Ous.
Ous: who believed that revolution would never be able to take on the dictatorship, just as he had been unable to challenge my father.
The film charts my family’s final days in Qutna before fleeing the regime’s bombardment to the distant city of Lattakia. The camera follows Ous, his wife and their two children, and then the memory of my mother, so full of the violence perpetrated by her husband and life partner against my brother. My mother, who sees the popular movement as destroying the country: just a religiously-motivated revenge taken by Sunnis against Alawites; an answer to the events of the 1980s.
I stand behind the camera. Each character talks about what frightens them. Fear under the Baath becomes the one, prevailing truth, as though a consequence of this great earthquake which has shaken the country to the roots.
This film has received the support of Bidayyat’s documentary grant 2014