Of Fathers and Sons 02

Festival / Official Selection 2018 / Of Fathers and Sons


Of Fathers and Sons

DIRECTOR : Talal Derki
COUNTRY : Germany,Lebanon,Qatar,Syria
YEAR : 2017
TIME : 100min

Nu Metro 5, 16 Oct @ 2pm | Nu Metro 6, 15 Oct @ 10.30pm


If you want to tame your nightmares, you need to capture them first. That’s 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. Talal Derki sets out to capture 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, there’s one thing they’ve already learned: they must never cry. 

Amsterdam, 20171120. IDFA, International documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2017, Portrait of director Talal Derki from the film Of fathers and sons. ©Grasshopperstudios


Talil 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 film productions and was a director for different Arab TV programs between 2009 and 2011. Furthermore, he worked as a freelance cameraman for CNN and Thomson & Reuters. Talal Derkis short films and feature length documentaries received many awards at a variety of festivals. His feature documentary RETURN TO HOMS has won the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in 2014. The same year, he was al member of the international Jury at IDFA.