A story that helps understand the complexity and tragedy of the current conflict in Syria through the day-to-day life of both children.
The director of Return to Homs goes back to his homeland to live for two years with the family of Abu Osama, a member of Al-Qaeda in Syria. There he witnesses how his children are trained from a very young age to become Jihad soldiers. We discover from within what it means to grow up with a jihadist father.
His two children, Osama and Ayman, worship, admire and obey their father, but while Osama seems to follow the Jihad path, Ayman wants to go back to school. After winning the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Talal Derki seduces us with a story that helps understand the complexity and tragedy of the current conflict in Syria through the day-to-day life of both children.
Terki avoids too much moralizing or even authoring, allowing his camera and presence to fade into the background of most scenes.— Brian Tallerico · RogerEbert.com
[Derki's poetic narration] serve to frame "Of Fathers and Sons" with the feeling that you're seeing a warped dream of family survival, one in which still-noticeable human bonds can't help but be corroded by isolating hatred and extremist ideology.— Robert Abele · Los Angeles Times
An intrepid, cold sweat-inducing study of Jihadi radicalization in the home from celebrated Syrian docmaker Talal Derki.— Guy Lodge · Variety