International Competition

Of Fathers and Sons

Talal Derki
Screening time  
26.02. / Monday, 19:00 - 21:00 Theatre 1  
01.03. / Thursday, 16:00 - 18:00 Theatre 4  
03.03. / Saturday, 13:00 - 15:00 Theatre 1  
For more than two years, the director lives with the family of Abu Osama, an Al-Nusra fighter in a small village in northern Syria, focusing his camera mainly on the children.

If you want to tame your nightmares, you need to capture them first. That is what Syrian documentary filmmaker Talal Derki learned from his father. As in his previous film Return to Homs, he returns to his homeland and becomes part of life in a war zone. For more than two years, he lives with the family of Abu Osama, an Al-Nusra fighter in a small village in northern Syria, focusing his camera mainly on the children. From a young age, the boys are trained to follow in their father’s footsteps and become soldiers of God. The horrors of war and the intimacy of family life are never far from one another. At the nearby battlefront Abu Osama fights against the enemy, while at home he cuddles with the boys and dreams of the caliphate. Derki sets out to capture the moment when the children have to let go of their youth and finally become Jihadi fighters. No matter how close the war comes, there is one thing they have already learned: they must never cry.

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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 lm productions. His feature documentary Return To Homs (2013, screened at 2014 ZagrebDox) has won the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in 2014. That same year, he was also a member of the international Jury at IDFA. This year he again takes top doc prize at Sundance with his lm Of Fathers and Sons (2017) that will be screened at this year’s ZagrebDox International Competition.

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Of Fathers and Sons

Germany
2017, 98'

Directed by:
Talal Derki

Screenplay by:
Talal Derki

Cinematography:
Kahtan Hasson

Edited by:
Anne Fabini

Music:
Karim Sebastian Elias

Producers:
Tobias Siebert, Hans Robert Eisenhauer

Produced by:
BASIS Berlin Filmproduktion, Ventana Film

Festivals & Awards:

Sundance Film Festival 2018 – Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary, IDFA 2017