I can't think of many films that expose the madness of war better - the pictures of people slaughtering each other, singing about freedom and god with craze in their eyes. I realise this most likely was not intended, it is powerful nonetheless. If you expect insight or context here, you will end up severely disappointed. A raw and true depiction of war that with a touch of religion in the mix makes a true bloodbath.
Basset is truly a treasure to Syria. He has a ton of courage, ambition, and love for its country and home. This documentary is crude we see the reality of what Bashar al-Assad is doing to Syrians: mass murder, brutality. Imagine turning peaceful humans to rebels? Fuck you, Bashar.
The urgency is such that considerations of cinematographic quality come at a latter notice. The courage of film making in the war front is astounding but the later editing should have permitted to create a path for the hard-earned images. The story of Basset comes through as a focus, but it is the punctuation of emotional normalcy in the chaos scenario that was enlightening and should have been front and center.
Very interesting documentary. I learned a few new things about this war. How and where it started. A bit too long though. Maybe 30 minutes less and would have been more dramatic. For a laic person, I would have liked to see more political thoughts, not only the Allah/martyr theme all over again. Still interesting enough. Wonder if Ossama still lives. Would be nice.
We are sometimes too close to really see the war, the people, the blood. But this is an important film about the syrian war we hardly ever see otherwise. The courage and charisma of Basset is one only great leaders show. The songs like prayers. The dead friends. The ruins. You can watch it of course but it is truely so hard to apprehend. Thanks Mubi list.
It’s easy to forget that the war in Syria began when peaceful protests against the Assad dictatorship were met by a harsh military crackdown. This harrowing and unforgettable documentary follows an 18-year-old goalkeeper for the Syrian national soccer team who starts off as a hopeful, charismatic leader of the street protests but transforms into a tireless guerrilla leader.
I saw this in London in 2014, at a screening where Orwa Nyrabia, the producer, was present, fresh out of Syrian prison. I'll never forget the experience, in awe of the almost unbelievable danger Ossama al Homsi put himself through to capture the intimacies, hopes, and dreams of those fighting fatal injustice. And the justice Talal Derki and his team did in assembling this phenomenal and important film.
First of all, this is a documentary. These are not actors, this is real-life. So for the few 1-Star reviewers, you obviously didn't "get" that. Second, the film-makers and participants were extremely heroic and courageous. Both in fighting, living, dying (in some cases) and capturing this footage. This documentary shows us the fierce courage of simple Syrians trying to stand up to a tyrant and thug. It woke me up!
The meatgrinder of the Syrian civil war has often faded into the background. This documenatary follows a small group of rebels in Homs, the 2nd largest city of Syria. It is gut-wrenching to follow along with them as their city is demolished and they struggle against overwhelming odds. A granular perspective that humanizes these events. Highly recommended
A very personal documentary about Syria and the war that has devastated its people and itself as a country. Gripping footage that rocks you on a visceral level. On a "story" level of this documentary, there is great human interest, but the conflict itself (politically) is never discussed. It is assumed by the filmmakers that you are aware of all the details of the politics that are at play here.
A shocking insight into the struggle against the regime in Syria. It shows how soured the attitudes are, how reserved the youth are to die in their struggle, left with no goal or hope beyond that. Very slowly paced and exceedingly rough around the edges, you truly feel like you're hiding in the besieged Homs. A startling piece of 3rd cinema; not an easy watch, but one to dare you to think and even empathize.