It feels unfinished, sketchy this personal film by Syrian Yaser Kassab. It is one long reflection and interpretation of, as the director has formulated it in the catalogue of Cinéma du Réel, “loss and grief”. Far from mainstream. In dark images, often metaphoric, from empty spaces, “detached from reality” as he says, with the fragments of skype conversations with his father, who does not want to leave the country, and at a later point states that we live “like bears in winter sleep”.
The synopsis: “Yaser and his partner Rima leave Syria to Lebanon, but after receiving the news that his younger brother passed away in Aleppo, they end up in a remote and an empty place in Turkey. In this place where the silence and the monotonous daily life being broken by the loud noise of the family calls whom still living in Aleppo. To spend a year and a half, which was almost like a slumber and a coma, waking up every day on the recurring nightmares echo.”
It is one of those rare films that does not move but places itself in a waiting mood full of sadness, memories and longing for a better life. A very much welcomed essayistic lyrical addition to the many war-filled documentaries from the country.
Got the Joris Ivens/ Cnap Award at Cinéma du Réel
Syria, 2017, 45 mins.