A Syrian Love Story
Director and photographer: Sean McAllister
A Syrian Love Story begins with footage from Syria in 2009, when British documentary filmmaker Sean McAllister took part in a smear tour for journalists to be shown the country as the next major tourist destination. McAllister, for his part, was looking to film something more gritty in the sense real, as he says in the film – knowing that he visited a country with many political prisoners.
In the Palestinian freedom fighter Amer, the filmmaker found a person who had experienced sitting in a Syrian prison, where he had also met his wife, the Syrian revolutionary fighter Raghda, 15 years earlier. When McAllister meets Amer, he is alone with their children, after Raghda was imprisoned again, this time for writing a government-critical book.
McAllister then follows this couple through five years for this documentary, and with that he has come very close to a story that takes many very dramatic turns. A Syrian Love Story had its world premiere at the Sheffield Documentary Festival last year, where it deservedly won the award for best film in the main competition.
Reunion. Early in the film, Amer initiates protests against the wife's imprisonment, and with international pressure on the Syrian authorities she is eventually released. But it does not take long for the happy reunion with the family until it becomes clear that Raghda is strongly characterized by traumatic experiences from the prison stay.
18 months after the filmmaker was first invited to Syria, then the Arab Spring comes to the country. Of course, this makes a strong impression on the documentary, and it is not the first time McAllister has found himself in the middle of these events.
In his previous movie The Reluctant Revolutionary (2012), he portrayed a tourist guide in Yemen, and with this he portrayed the riots from those that arose in the country – which have been far less in the news picture than. . .