Of Fathers and Sons

“This is my personal journey through a devastated country and a troubled society, looking for answers to my desperate questions about the future of my country and the future of my family who had to flee into exile.”

In this film Derki returns to his homeland 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 and his brother Ayman are in the centre 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.

Almanya Katar Lübnan Suriye

Talal Derki

DocumentaMadrid - Jury Special Mention
Documentary Edge Festival - Best Feature
El Gouna Film Festival - Best Documentary
Filmfest München - Fritz Gerlich Prize
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival - Special Jury Prize - CDS Filmmaker Award
Sundance Film Festival - Grand Jury Prize: Documentary
Valetta Film Festival - Best Documentary
ZagrebDox International Documentary Film Festival - Best Film

24th Festival on Wheels
Without Refuge