Worldwide film screenings to commemorate anniversary of Syria's revolution

Ahram Online, Monday 12 Mar 2012

Syrian unrest makes it impossible for DOX BOX festival but cities around the world will screen several Syrian documentary films on 15 March, the uprising's anniversary, in a show of global solidarity

Flood In Baath Country
Flood In Baath Country by late Syrian filmmaker Omar Amiralay

The Syrian DOX BOX documentary film festival has set Thursday, 15 March, the anniversary of the Syrian revolution, for screenings of Syrian documentaries on a global scale.

Initially, the fifth edition DOX BOX documentary film festival was to take place in Syria, but due to the political upheaval, the organisers found it impossible to hold a festival there.

Defiantly, they called for venues around the world to hold screenings of Syrian documentaries on 15 March, so the world can show their solidarity with Syrians.

DOX BOX is Syria's only documentary film festival and one of the most important documentary festivals in the Arab world, reaching nearly 30,000 people last year.

Films featured by DOX BOX festival:

Step by Step (director: Oussama Mohammed, 1978, 22 minutes)
Mohammed's graduation film at Moscow film school initially shows both his cinematic style and thematic focus on the mechanism of violence and authority in society.

Zabad (director: Reem Ali, 2006, 48 minutes)
The intimate story of a Syrian family is told from the perspective of a disabled man. It reveals a brother's close relationship to sister and his extreme dependence on her. The sister herself is torn between her dream for a better life abroad with her family and the responsibility she feels for her brother. The film is still banned in Syria.

Blackstone (director: Nidal Al-Dib, 2006, 62 minutes)
In a poor district of Damascus four children collect scrap metal to support their families. Their wanderings through the city provide them with joy and give them a chance to dream.

Tournesols – Ar-Rastan (director: anonymous, 2012, 25 minutes)
Syrian filmmakers have succeeded in making a documentary, despite the current violent circumstances in the town of Ar-Rastan. This town in the violent-wracked Homs region saw protests at a very early stage. Both inhabitants and soldiers bear witness to the events.

London, Berlin, Edinburgh and Malmo will screen the films on 15 March in solidarity with the festival and Syrians.

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