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.
Every syrian documentary tells a story, from the White Helmets to the Cannes documentary. Forget story, forget normal, just look at the buildings, the architecture, and nature. With an ounce of empathy comes a river of understanding. it is not that you need to see it, it is that you can't accept it, treating the film conventionally misses the entire point, Homs is apparently dead.
In spite of some serious footage with dead and badly hurt people the film is a disappointment. Watching it is like experiencing a bad home video which is only funny for people who took part in it. The scenes are strung together without any idea of how to give a context or some real insight into the situation. Instead you see a group of young men taking war like an adventure and singing songs about martyrdom.