Of Fathers and Sons

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    Of Fathers and Sons

    Directed by

    Germany, Syria, Lebanon, Qatar

    2017

    99 min

    • Arabic

    Documentary

    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.

    Awards

    • Grand Jury Prize, Open Borders Fellowship Award - Sundance FF
    • FIPRESCI Award - Kraków FF
    • Fritz Gerlich Prize - Filmfest München
    • Silver Star - El Gouna FF

    Festivals

    Labels & Line Ups

    Credits

    Cinematography
    Kahtan Hasson
    Editing
    Anne Fabini
    Music
    K.S. Elias
    Production
    BASIS BERLIN FILM PRODUKTION
    Production
    VENTANA FILM GMBH
    Production
    CINEMA GROUP PRODUCTION
    Sales
    AUTLOOK FILMSALES

    Press

    A portrait of family life in Syria that is as chilling as it is illuminating.

    Screen Daily

    A clear, vivid and unshakeable view.

    Variety

    ...an excellent powerful film.

    The Guardian

    ...a potent reminder of the potential for evil we all carry.

    The Film Stage, https://thefilmstage.com/reviews/sundance-review-of-fathers-and-sons-is-a-chilling-look-at-extremism/

    Talal Derki

    Talal Derki

    Syria

    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

    Selected Filmography