In his previous film – award winning The Return to Homs – depicted Syrian filmmaker rebels from the Free Syrian Army during the battles in beleaguered Homs. IN Of Fathers and Sons – which premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam in November – he has rarely come close to al-Qaeda's al-Nusra front in Idlib province northwest of the country. The focus this time is the children who represent what Derki himself has referred to as "the lost generation in Syria", as they have never experienced anything but war.
Disguised as a sympathizer. The premise of the documentary is in itself very dangerous for the non-religious filmmaker. For fear of being kidnapped or executed, Talal Derki pretended to be a war photographer who sympathized with the jihadists and their ideology, claiming that after a religious awakening, he wanted to learn more. He told the extremist group that he wanted to make a movie about their lives, and especially the children and what it is like to grow up under these circumstances.
The last statement is largely true. For more than two years, Derki follows al-Nusra warrior Abu Osama and his eight children – some of them more prominent in the film than others.
The danger. . .
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