« You haven’t seen anything » / « I have seen it all »: Post 2011 Syrian documentaries and their frontiers
The voice messages as well as the Skype conversations with the parents and sister of the director of On the Edge of Life (Yaser Kassab, 2017) mingle with void: that of the static landscapes of the Turkish countryside and that of the road when leaving Beirut. Then appears a figure of the absence. It corresponds as much to that of the relatives – namely the brother who disappeared, killed by a bomb that fell on Aleppo – as to that of the country. The hypnotic landscapes refer to the impossibility of seeing and understanding the real-life experience of those who... more
Portrait of BIDAYYAT in the Daily Star Lebanon, by Jim Quilty
Earlier this month at the FIDMarseille international film festival, the Competition Grand Prize went to a feature-length documentary called “Our Terrible Country.” This Syrian-Lebanese co-production was co-directed by Mohammed Ali Atassi and Ziad Homsi, Syrian filmmakers of two generations. A road movie of sorts, “Our Terrible Country” documents another inter-generational relationship.
It follows dissident Syrian intellectual Yassin Haj Saleh as he treks from Douma, northeast of Damascus, to Raqqa, the northern town where he was born, then into exile in Turkey. It is an emotional passage. Haj Saleh was forced to leave his wife in Douma. Homsi, who accompanied the dissident... more