Insyriated 15 (S)


The reality of civilian life in modern-day Damascus is explored in gripping and visceral detail in Philippe Van Leeuw’s powerful war drama, which took home the Audience Award at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

Trapped inside her home as the city around her is reduced to rubble, mother of three Oum Yazan (Hiam Abbass) takes comfort in the familiarity of household routines. The streets below are a war zone, a barricaded doorway her only protection from the daily threat of deadly bombs and sniper fire. But when an ominous knock on the door signals that their time in hiding is almost up, the world outside finally bursts in and Oum Yazan is forced to make a terrible sacrifice in order to protect those she loves the most.

Executed with gut-punch realism and formal flair, this chilling chamber piece is about as relevant and urgent as it’s possible to get. Digging deep into the headlines to expose the raw human experiences beneath, Van Leeuw’s tense and immersive film delivers an important, powerful and timely portrait of the everyday fight for survival in war-torn Syria.