Syrian filmmaker Talal Derki is nothing if not brave, going undercover for more than two years to embed himself with a radical Islamist family in this remarkable documentary.
Abu is the co-founder of an Al Qaeda affiliate. He’s also the proud head of a large and, yes, loving household. As they reach adolescence, two of his sons—Osama and Ayman—are following their father more or less willingly down the path of jihad, training to become soliders in the battle for a caliphate. But like all teenagers, they still have a lot to learn about life, never mind death.
For Derki, those last shreds of innocence warrant careful examination; as he writes in his director’s statement, “The children are those who enable us to emotionally experience and understand the complex tragedy of Syria. Often, they are the ones who can look through all the madness.” What we see through their eyes is extraordinary, however chilling.
Producer: Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias Siebert, Hans Robert Eisenhauer | Editor: Anne Fabini | Cinematographer: Kahtan Hasson
Additional Countries: Syria, Lebanon