Of Fathers and Sons

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.
Of Fathers and Sons won the World Cinema documentary Grand Jury Prize at the last Sundance Film Festival.

Language: Arabic
Subtitles: English

  • Name in Original Language: Of Fathers and Sons
  • Director: Talal Derki
  • Country: Germany, Syria, Lebanon
  • Year: 2017
  • Length: 98 min
  • Age limit: null
  • Cinematography: Kahtan Hassoun
  • Editing: Anne Fabini
  • Audio: Sebastian Tesch
  • Music: K. S. Elias
  • Production: Tobias Siebert, Eva Kemme and Ansgar Frerich for BASIS Berlin Filmproduktion, Hans Robert Eisenhauer for Ventana Film


  • Cinema Artis, hall 1: Thursday, 01.02 - 20:00