To mark the release of A Syrian Love Story, this is a chance to see another – and very different – exploration of Syria, and exile from Syria; winner of the Grierson Documentary Award at the 2014 BFI London Film Festival, Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait.
How do you document the real experience of a humanitarian disaster like the civil war in Syria? How can you connect to the tragedy at home when you are living abroad in exile? Acclaimed filmmaker Ossama Mohammed is wrestling with these questions from his home-in-exile in Paris, tormented by the stream of brutal YouTube videos of atrocities in his home country, when he is contacted by Wiam Simav Bedirxan, a young woman in Homs, asking “If your camera were here, in Homs, what would you be filming?”
The poetic and yet confrontational film that follows is a dialogue between the two filmmakers, as Wiam sends film of her life in Homs and Ossama uses found footage from the internet, shot by thousands of people on both sides of the conflict. The result is a harrowing but unforgettable experience, which, in the midst of the horrors of war shows traces of hope and fragility.