Of Fathers and Sons

Of Fathers and Sons

Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 5:30pm
Friday, May 11, 2018 - 4:45pm
Community Partner(s)
Talal Derki | 
Germany/Syria/Lebanon |
 2017 | 
98 minutes

Following his 2013 Sundance award-winning documentary Return to Homs, Syrian-born, Berlin-based filmmaker Talal Derki has crafted another deeply immersive frontline look at the war in Syria. Derki spent more than two years embedded with and filming the lives of one radical Islamist family in the north of Syria, where militant Al-Qaeda affiliated groups have a stronghold. His camera introduces us to Abu-Osama and his sons, a group of young boys who grow up in a landscape where children’s games and sibling spats share the same stage as gunshots and landmines. Abu-Osama is committed to the ideal of an Islamic Caliphate, and spends his days fighting regime troops and risking his life to deactivate landmines. But when he returns home, his attention is with his children. What Derki’s footage reveals is complex and human: the power of religious zeal and radical fundamentalism, but also the love of a father for his sons. As Abu-Osama’s two oldest sons Osama and Ayman reach young adulthood, they face assimilation into the ranks of armed combat. Since birth, they have learned that they are in the midst of a holy war, and that they must eventually play their part. As we witness the young boys don army fatigues and learn how to fire high-calibre weapons, the shattering weight of the film becomes evident. Of Fathers and Sons reveals the human face of war, but perhaps not the one we were expecting. -PP


Talal Derki

Talal Derki was born in Damascus and has been based in Berlin since 2014. He studied film directing in Athens, worked as an assistant director for many feature films, and was a director for different Arab TV programs between 2009 and 2011. Furthermore, he worked as a freelance cameraman for CNN and Thomson & Reuters. Talal Derkis' short films and feature length documentaries received many awards at a varietyof festivals. His feature documentary RETURN TO HOMS has won the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Grand JuryPrize in 2014. The same year, he was al member of the international Jury at IDFA.