Syrian filmmaker Talal Derki was most recently at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014 with THE RETURN TO HOMS, which won the World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize. Once again, Derki returns to his homeland, upping the ante of danger to new heights by posing as a pro-jihadist photojournalist making a documentary on the rise of the caliphate. The result is an unfettered vérité portrait of al-Nusra general Abu Osama—a radical Islamist leader and loving father—and the gaggle of young boys who idolize him. Chief among these boys is the leader’s son Osama, named after Dad’s personal hero, Osama bin Laden. In this remote village in northern Syria, a landscape of bombed-out homes, abandoned tanks, and minefields becomes a playground for young boys taught to stone any girls who dare to show their faces in public. Schools have been decimated. Education consists of reciting the Koran and attending military training camp. Bedtime stories regale the glory of martyrdom. With unparalleled intimacy, OF FATHERS AND SONS captures that chilling moment when childhood dies and jihadism is born.
- Grand Jury Prize, Open Borders Fellowship Award - Sundance FF
- FIPRESCI Award - Kraków FF
- Fritz Gerlich Prize - Filmfest München
- Silver Star - El Gouna FF
- Sundance Film Festival 2018
- Luxembourg City Film Festival 2018
- CPH:DOX 2018
- Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018
- Filmfest München 2018
- El Gouna Film Festival 2018
- Helsinki IFF - Love & Anarchy 2018
- AFI FEST 2018
- Montreal International Documentary Festival - RIDM 2018
- Black Movie Independent Film Festival 2019
- Sofia International Film Festival 2019
- Kahtan Hasson
- Anne Fabini
- K.S. Elias
- AUTLOOK FILMSALES
- BASIS BERLIN FILM PRODUKTION
- VENTANA FILM GMBH
- CINEMA GROUP PRODUCTION
A portrait of family life in Syria that is as chilling as it is illuminating.
A clear, vivid and unshakeable view.
...an excellent powerful film.
...a potent reminder of the potential for evil we all carry.
Born in Damascus in 1977, Talal Derki is a Syrian filmmaker who studied filmmaking in Athens and graduated in 2003. He has lived in Berlin since 2013. Both Talal’s feature films RETURN TO HOMS (2013) and OF FATHERS AND SONS (2017) won the Ground Jury Award at Sundance FF in 2014 and 2018 respectively. In 2019, Talal was nominated for an award in the Best Documentary (Feature) category for OF FATHERS AND SONS (2017) and won the German academy awards Lola 2019