Since about a year and a half Syria is almost daily in our media. The Syrian dictatorial regime is still in power and by now thousands of people have lost their lives.
To function in such regimes means to be limited in freedom. Yet many people have found ways to contribute to the struggle for their liberation. Images have always played an important role and in the last decade more than ever.
It is the power of video images that we will get to see during the Syrian Cinema Days in Brussels.
Syrian filmmakers have been producing movies for years and some of them are internationally acclaimed. Les Halles, Bozar and Cinematek made a selection of movies which look interesting. Films which help us to better understand the Syrian society; what is going on right now and how the people are making use of video in their resistance.
Except movies during the whole weekend, there will also be lectures, debates and a concert.
The opening on Friday (14/09) will be dedicated to Omar Amiralay, one of the most important directors of the Syrian cinema. His movie A flood in Baath country shows what the implications and the meaning are of the rule of Baath Party in Syria. The evening will be closed with Today the urgency, short movies made by activists as a way of resistance.
On Saturday (15/09) there will be more movies playing. First there is Stars in broad daylight by Osama Mohammad. In this movie the focus is on the topic of marriage and family.
I am the one who brings flowers to her grave by Hala Alabdalla tells the story of three women who once were jailed because of their ideals and struggle for freedom. In a way Alabdalla tells at the same time also about some parts of her own life. A touching documentary.
A compilation of videos and animations will be presented by Dany Abo Louh. These are part of the Today the urgency 2
On Sunday (16/09) there is a Round Table with Mohammad Ali Atassi, Ziad Majed, Amer Matar, Father Paolo and Jean-Pierre Perrin, moderated by Béatrice Delvaux. In the afternoon two movies will follow. In particular Lorsque le Quassioun est fatigué by Hala Mohamed is a must see. It is an interview with one of the most important poets of Syria, Mohamad Al Maghout. A few months before his death he tells about his life and work. Almost every sentence of this poet sounds like a quote you need to remember. The style of the documentary is simple but Al Maghout, who also spent years in prison with other figures such as Adonis -one of the most known poets of the Arab world-, keeps it interesting.
Sunday will close with Noma Omran who is currently regarded as one of the greatest specialists in the old Syrian maqâm.
For those who enjoy the movies: on Monday (17/09) two more Syrian movies will be shown in Cinematek. Everyday life in a Syrian village by Omar Amiralay, a classic in the critical Syrian film, and Sacrificies by Osama Mohammad, who will be present in person to introduce the movie.
Most of the movies are Arabic spoken and subtitled in French.