March 2011 was a turning point not only for the civilian population in Syria, but also for Syrian filmmakers. Our film discussion looks at the current trends amongst Syrian filmmakers – a trend that particularly manifests itself in the form of documentaries. The discussion will further focus on the strategies and opportunities for producing relevant and independent films against the background of the current political and societal situation.
Joachim Bernauer, Culture Department Head, Goethe-Institut Munich
Ossama Mohammed, director, Latakia/Paris
Sara Fattahi, director, Damascus/Vienna
Hubertus Koch, director, Cologne
Silvia Bauer, Dok.Fest Munich
This will be followed by the 2003 film A Flood in Baath Country. This film by Omar Amiralay, one of the most influential filmmakers and civil rights campaigners in the country, takes a critical look at single-party rule in Syria. The film leads to Amiralay becoming alienated from the ruling class in his country and is an early example of a new kind of filmmaking in the Arab world.
A Flood in Baath Country by Omar Amiralay, France 2003, 48 minutes, Arabic and French with English subtitles