Images from Syria

Quite a different text has to be written under this headline – compared to the one below from Egypt. From the atrocities in Syria, let us call it as it is, a massacre by the government on its own people, there are no edited images, no sequences, at least to my knowledge, no documentaries but a lot of documentation that includes amateur video footage shot on cell phones in most cases. Shot by courageous people who put their life at risk quite as the protesters they film.

”Peaceful Syrian citizens are being killed today for their demands of basic rights and liberties”, this was the first sentence in the Call from Syrian filmmakers to colleagues all over the world. They got a huge response to their petition, around 1000 names, a petition that was closed due to security reasons. There are many Syrian names on the list, filmmakers who are in the country and are doing their job, I am sure, trying to make sense out of a senseless situation. I have with Western colleagues been in Damascus for four years in a row, getting to know filmmakers, from whom I hear almost nothing in these days. They have to be careful and work underground so to say. For obvious reasons. ”Viva Syria”, one wrote to me some days ago, a filmmaker who is no longer in Syria, ”because they are asking about me”. Viva Syria, yes, but which Syria?

This morning I took a surf tour on the internet to see what I could find of clips, which – as the tv channels say – are not verified, are not signed by anyone, just posted anonymously to give the world glimpses of what is going on. Shaky, sometimes blood-filled images, people shouting, tanks approaching, whatever. I have given some addresses below, they might be good, they might be bad, we do not know, journalists from abroad are not allowed to enter the country, it is up to the Syrians themselves to record and convey the images – and to us to try to combine it with newspaper reports and more or less clever commentators and experts in politics in the region. A big frustration when you do not know how to help!

Share your love
Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

Articles: 3870