Genre: Children | Feature Documentary | Social | War | Women Issue
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16.9
Resolution: 1920/ 10.80
Country of origin: Canada, Syria
Original version: Arabic
Available in: Arabic
Subtitled in: English
Screening format: DCP, Blu-Ray
A remarkable, daring and highly original film about Children Power in bringing happiness and changes into the life After the War.
Logline: Childhood and happiness are great and sacred concepts. Even war, cannot destroy these profound and holy words.
Locarno Film Festival . Semaine de la critique -August 9-16th 2019
Asia Pacific Screen Award – 2019
15th Camden International Film Festival – September 12- 15 2019– USA
Harrell Award - 15th Camden International Film Festival – September 12- 15 2019– USA
The 11th DMZ International Documentary Film Festival (September 20-27, 2019)
BEST FILM Award at 22nd Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People, Pyrgos and Amaliada, in Greece, from November 30th to December 7th, 2019
To scrape money together for the concert, Malook and some friends pull the copper lines out of the walls of empty buildings that are riddled with bullets and rockets. In one of the most moving scenes, the children write apologies for their theft on the walls, should the people who have fled ever return. A spark of hope remains for the children and for us, too, as long as such acts and art – songs and wall paintings – survive.
Reza Farahmand’s newest documentary begins with the statement “In the Name of God”. But there is hardly any sign of God in the empty war ruins we see. Like in last year’s Women with Gunpowder Earrings, where the filmmaker accompanied an Iraqi war reporter, he is again drawn to a bombed region. In his previous film, he remained at the border to Syria. This time, he immerses himself in this seemingly never-ending war and goes to Jarmuk, a suburb of Damascus, which has been the home of Palestinian refugees for decades. Jarmuk once had 150,000 inhabitants. Today, after a mass exodus caused by heavy fighting, the invasion of the IS and a famine, there are less than 200 according to unofficial information. The ten-year-old boy Malook is one of them. He dreams of becoming a singer. Together with his older sister Ghofran, he is planning to organise a concert with professional musicians. But for whom? viewers wonder, given the deserted streets.
Director’s Motivation:With the heavy load of the rough filmmaking experiences in Iraq during the war with ISIS, this time I go to Yarmouk in Syria which deems a place out of this world. Amidst the unfathomable scale of destruction, it feels as if I can’t free myself of the echoes of thousands of lost lives. And I remain gazed without being able to move. Suddenly, a rustling sound from within the rubbles switches my camera on and while I’m still astounded, the voices of exhausted but alive children takes me to the world of wishful kids who in longing to return to their once solid homes, search for a ballad to remind them of the sweet smell of life.
Destruction is the product of war. Bombardments and shelling demolish cities and villages like frenzied flood.My camera and I follow the children, become playmates with them and learn lyrics from each other. With these songs we grow two wings and forget that it rains bullets here. We fly and reach a point where one voice is heard and that is a grandmother who whispers her songs for us.
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