Omar Amiralay: Sorrow, Time, Silence, dir. Hala Alabdalla, France / Syria 2021, 109 min., French / Arabic 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 that 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.
Fri, 08 Oct 2021
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