Docu-Forum-Online Of Fathers and Sons

Docu Forum April © Basis Berlin Film Production

Wed, 21.04.2021

Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata

Park Mansions, Gate 4
57A, Park Street
700 016 Kolkata

A film by Talal Derki
98 min., 2017, Arabic with English Subtitles.
Countries of Production: Germany, Syria, Lebanon.

Talal Derki returns to his homeland Syria where he gained the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years. His camera focuses mainly on the children, providing an extremely rare insight into what it means to grow up with a father whose only dream is to establish an Islamic Caliphate. Osama (13) and his brother Ayman (12) are in the center of the story. They both love and admire their father and obey his words, but while Osama seems to follow the path of Jihad, Ayman wants to go back to school. The film captures the moment when the children have to let go of their youth and are finally turned into Jihadi fighters. No matter how close the war comes—one thing they have already learned: they must not cry.

Of Fathers and Sons is Talal’s personal journey through a devastated country and a troubled society, looking for answers to his desperate questions about the future of his country and the future of his family who had to flee into exile.

Talal Derki

Talal Derki was born in Damascus and is based in Berlin since 2014. He studied film directing in Athens and worked as an assistant director for many feature film productions 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 Derki's short films and feature length documentaries received many awards at a variety of festivals. His feature documentary Return to Homs has won the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in 2014. The same year, he was a member of the international Jury at IDFA.

2017 Of Fathers and Sons, feature documentary (98min)
2016 Ode to Lesvos, short documentary (5 min.)
2013 Return to Homs, feature documentary (90 min.)
2010 Hero of the Sea, documentary (28 min.)
2005 A whole line of trees, short film, 35mm (8 min.)
2003 Hello Damascus goodbye Damascus, short film, 16mm (12 min.)


The discussion with the film maker has been cancelled for this edition of Docu-Forum due to the unavailability of the film maker due to unavoidable circumstances.

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