Return to Homs
World Documentary


Arabic with English subtitles, 2013, 90 minutes, color, Syria/Germany

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary

From 2011 to 2013, filmmaker Talal Derki followed the journey of two close friends whose lives had been upended by the battle raging in Syria. Nineteen-year-old Basset is a local soccer star—the goalkeeper for the Syrian national team. He has also become an iconic singer in the revolution. His songs reflect his dreams of a peaceful liberation from Assad’s brutal regime. Ossama is a 24-year-old media activist and pacifist who wields his camera to capture the revolution. When the army cracks down and their beloved city of Homs becomes a bombed-out ghost town, these two peaceful protesters finally take up arms and transform into rebel insurgents.

With no talking heads or title cards to give us context, Derki’s film is after something much more visceral. Like its heroes, we are pulled into the conflict with frenzied immediacy as we experience one city, the dreaded rites of passage of two friends, and ultimately an entire nation torn apart by the fog of war.

Director: Talal Derki

Screenwriter: Talal Derki

Producers: Orwa Nyrabia, Hans Robert Eisenhauer

Editor: Anne Fabini

Cinematographers: Kahtan Hassoun, Ossama Al Homsi, Talal Derki, Orwa Nyrabia

Associate Producer: Diana El Jeiroudi

About the Director

Talal Derki was born in Damascus and studied film directing in Athens. He has made two short films and five documentaries. His films have screened at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam, where he received the Silver Hawk in 2011 for Azadi. Lajat earned a Special Mention at the Arab Camera Festival in 2012. Both films were made during the Syrian revolution, and Derki screened them using a pseudonym. He has also worked as a video reporter.


1/17/2014 12:00 pm
Sundance Resort Screening Room, Sundance Resort
1/18/2014 9:00 pm
Temple Theatre, Park City
1/19/2014 3:45 pm
Broadway Centre Cinema 3, SLC
1/20/2014 3:30 pm
Redstone Cinema 1, Park City
1/23/2014 3:00 pm
Temple Theatre, Park City
1/24/2014 9:00 am
Egyptian Theatre, Park City