A new Wave of Syrian Films Exposes the Failure of Images
In an increasingly appalling atmosphere of political stagnation, failed negotiations, and yet another ceasefire that won’t last, there is at least some good news coming out from Syria these days. A new wave of talented filmmakers is silently but powerfully emerging in the midst of a social media-driven compulsion to upload images nonstop and share them in real time.
In the immediate aftermath of the March 2011 uprising, Syrian activists and ordinary citizens have widely employed filmmaking to bear witness and denounce human rights abuses, in the hope that the sheer amount of visual media will provoke outrage and push the... more
Article in the “heraldscotland” on Bidayyat short films, screened at Glasgow film festival
THE caption included in the closing credits brings you up short and reminds you just how perilous life is in Syria.
During the four months it took to make the short film, ‘Siege’, one film-maker lost his father to a sniper from the Assad regime. Another was almost kidnapped, and a third was killed during an ISIS attack on the Palestinian Yarmouk Camp in Damascus.
The casualties did not end there. The co-ordinator of the Watad Center, the main partner in the making of the short film, was assassinated in his home.
“This is just a small glimpse of the siege on Southern... more
The Camera and the Samopal
The sky fell. The rusty fragments of metal rent air thick with the reek of bodies burnt by artillery fire and napalm. The buildings, warring with the thickets of lance-like rifles, groaned in the pitch-black night, alive with the endless screams of people who could find no way to live save tearing one another to pieces.
The sky dropped earthwards with the falling barrel, the distance between it and the machine guns and the gore-drenched bodies beneath less than the distance that divides the 50mm lens in the bag from the 55mm lens on the camera. The barrel takes seven seconds... more
About Bidayyat's films production on "Voice of America" by Heather Murdock
Syrian filmmakers are touring European film festivals this week, screening "Our Terrible Country," a film that explores an intergenerational friendship amid kidnappings, war and exile.
In this documentary, a young man named Ziad laughs with his white-haired companion, Yassin. They are in Turkey, having fled Syria after Ziad was captured and tortured by Islamic State militants. Yassin is in exile, fearing both the government and the Islamic State.
The film is not about what happened in the past, said its director, Ali Atassi. It was happening as they were shooting.
"I did stop shooting when Ziad was arrested by the Islamic State," Atassi... more
Marseille International Festival Of Documentary Films
A festival to what end? To share with the public today’s cinemas. Yes, the cinema harbors a plural, a plurality of forms, formats, lengths, approaches and gazes. A unique moment when directors from all over the world rub nourish our present with all they have. If FIDMarseille’s roots are in the documentary, it is to remember realities are our ground, without forgetting that this soil propagates many different worlds and even more ways of bearing witness to them. And if this testimony is a necessity, an urgency, it is with the conscience that we must find the courage, the precision,... more