Of fathers and sons

Germany, Syria, Lebanon, Qatar, 2017, 98 min.


Talal Derki


Autlook Filmsales GmbH


Kahtan Hasson


BASIS BERLIN Filmproduktion

Talal Derki returns to his homeland where he gains the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years. His camera focuses on Osama and his younger brother Ayman, providing an extremely rare insight into what it means to grow up in an Islamic Caliphate. Both brothers 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 part with 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.

2017 IDFA (Netherlands) – Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
2018 Sundance IFF (USA) – Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema Documentary Competition
Krakow IFF (Poland) – THE GOLDEN HORN for the director of the best film, FIPRESCI award
ZagrebDox IDFF (Croatia) – Big Stamp (International Competition), Movies That Matter Award
One World IFF (Czech Republic) – Best Director
Talal Derki - 1

Talal Derki

Born in Damascus, based in Berlin. 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 (2009 – 2011). Worked as a freelance cameraman for CNN and Thomson & Reuters. His short films and feature length documentaries received many festival awards. His feature documentary RETURN TO HOMS has won the Sundance FF’s World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in 2014. The same year, he was also a member of the international Jury at IDFA.