Of Fathers And Sons
In Return to Homs (2013), Talal Derki followed two young anti-Assad dissidents who joined the armed resistance after the city was bombed. He returns, this time to the north of his country, to the province of Irbid controlled by the Al-Nusra Front, the local branch of Al-Qaeda, with a cover: a “war photographer” displaying, in order to save his skin, warm “sympathy” for the jihadists and their ideology. Once the “soldiers of Allah” have left for the front, he remains, true to his method, to film Abu Osama, and his two eldest sons, pre-teens, Osama and Ayman, as a real inside witness to this “war heritage”. In Of Fathers and Sons, Derki shares the daily life of this Syrian family, accompanies the sons of this loving father—incidentally a specialist in car bombs—to the training camp for young fighters. He endeavours, through the narrowed field of vision of cinéma direct, to understand, without judgment or deference, what drives certain men to want to live under Sharia law and impose it, by force if necessary, on their peers.