Omar Amiralay: Sorrow, Time, Silence
Veteran Syrian director Hala Alabdalla returns to LFF with a moving portrait of her late friend and pioneer of Arab non-fiction cinema.
Hala Alabdalla, Igor Courtecuisse, Clémence Crépin Neel
France-Syria 2021. 109min
With English subtitles
Syrian documentarian Omar Amiralay was a beloved figure in the Arab film world, celebrated for his activism and political cinema, although it meant that his films were frequently banned. His untimely death in 2011, mere weeks before the uprising against the Assad regime swept across Syria, remains a great sadness. Alabdalla returns to interviews she filmed with him over ten years ago, resulting in this tender and candid portrait. Death looms large: Amiralay was caring for his elderly mother at the time and contemplating whether he should film her so close to death. Part-cinematic letter to an old friend, part-reflection on Syria then and now, and a masterclass on filmmaking as an act of defiance and resistance, Alabdalla weaves together a graceful and fitting homage.
You may also enjoy
The Storms of Jeremy Thomas
Affectionate, fascinating and unconventional documentary portrait examining the long and illustrious career of one of the UK’s most iconic producers, Jeremy Thomas.
Little Palestine, Diary of a Siege
Yarmouk Camp in Damascus, Syria, was once home to the largest concentration of Palestinian refugees. Abdallah Al-Khatib’s record of its brutal siege is vital viewing.
Ripples of Life
Following Striding Into the Wind (LFF 2020), Wei Shujun returns with this impressive meta commentary on filmmaking that’s full of insight and deadpan humour.