Our Terrible Country Bidayyat's full production film at the Daily Star By Jim Quilty
BEIRUT: “Daaesh.” Yassin Haj Saleh pauses as if the word, the Arabic acronym for ISIS, were a question in need of an answer.
“It’s a fitting name,” he answers himself, “for a monster.”
Haj Saleh is sitting in Douma, in the eastern Ghouta, some 10 kilometers from central Damascus. Several weeks later, he and Syrian filmmaker Ziad Homsi have made the journey from Douma to Raqqa.
“Daaesh,” Haj Saleh says, three months and several hundred kilometers beyond Raqqa, is “ ... the cancerous growth of our revolution.”
These remarks are recorded in “Our Terrible Country,” a documentary co-directed by Homsi and his countryman Mohammed Ali Atassi. The film had its... 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