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286 Ratings

Return to Homs

Directed by Talal Derki
Syrian Arab Republic, Germany, 2013


Basset is the goalkeeper for the Syrian soccer team, an iconic protest leader and singer. Osama is a media activist and pacifist wielding his camera to document the revolution. When Homs becomes a bombed ghost town, these two peaceful protesters take up arms and transform into renegade insurgents.

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Return to Homs Directed by Talal Derki

Awards & Festivals

Sundance Film Festival

2014 | Winner: World Cinema - Documentary (Grand Jury Prize)

San Francisco International Film Festival

2014 | Winner: Best Documentary Feature (Special Jury Recognition)

Whether by design or accident, the director has created a real-life Hunger Games atmosphere where life unfolds in a hostile arena which promotes the destruction its own young. Derki has witnessed an ongoing political reality, and in doing so acted as a conduit to the senseless despair of violence.
June 26, 2014
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The images have an immediate, visceral impact; at the same time, Derki’s plaintive narration is often beautifully elegiac, its perspective philosophical and even cosmic. In one scene Derki tours a bombed-out building and notes, “The only things breaking the silence are the singing of birds and the roar of bombardment.”
June 04, 2014
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Return to Homs carries the risk of sensationalizing current events and feeding our insatiable appetite for close encounters with violence from the safety of a movie theater. Yet it also presents a perspective on a pressing reality that may otherwise escape our attention. A film like Return to Homs can endure as an accessible and enduring account of the Syrian war, offering a powerful, meaningfully shaped narrative that also speaks to our era of citizen media.
March 28, 2014
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