Our Terrible Country

  • Lebanon
  • Syria
Audio Tracks 

This road movie portrays the perilous journey of well-known intellectual Yassin al-Haj Saleh and young photographer Ziad Homsi through Syria, at a time when the country edges towards the brink.

Yassin (53), who spent 16 years in prison for belonging to the Syrian left, goes underground in 2011 to serve Syria’s popular uprising, while Ziad (24) - occasionally fighting with the rebels - takes photographs in his hometown Douma. In this Damascene suburb – where Yassin and his wife Samira Khalil found shelter - the two men meet and become friends.

Together, they embark on an adventurous journey through the desert to al-Haj Saleh’s native town Raqqa in Northeast Syria. Upon their arrival, Raqqa is occupied by the "Islamic State in Iraq and Levant" (ISIS), which also kidnapped two brothers of Yassin.

Consequently, the thinker leaves for Istanbul to pursue his writing for the revolution, hoping for a reunion with his wife Samira who remained in Douma. Ziad – abducted by ISIS on his way back – rejoins Yassin after his release, hoping to return home soon. All hopes are shattered when Samira gets abducted jointly with human rights lawyer Razan Zeitouneh.

And the film ends while Syria tumbles into a yawning abyss.

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  • Original title
    Our Terrible Country
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Mohammad Ali Atassi
  • DOP
    Ziad Homsi, Saeed Albatal
  • Editing
    Marwan Ziadeh
  • Sound
    Nadim Mishlawe
  • Duration
    80 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Lebanon
    • Syria
  • Production
  • Festivals
    • FID Marseille 2014
    • Gindou Cinema 2014
    • Golden Boll International Film Festival Adana 2014
    • Kaunas International Film Festival 2014
    • War on Screen 2014
    • Doc Lisboa 2014
    • Sao Paolo International Film Festival 2014
    • Cinemed Montpellier 2014
    • Dok Leipzig 2014
    • Viennale 2014
    • Forum Doc Brazil 2014
    • Festival des 3 Continents 2014
    • Carthago 2014
    • PORTO/POST/DOC Film & Media Festival 2014
    • Watch Docs Human Rights International Film Festival 2014
    • Karama Human Rights Film Festival 2014
    • Festival First Look 2015
    • !f Istanbul 2015
    • Punto Vista 2015
    • Movies that matter 2015
    • One World Romania 2015
    • Festival International du CinémaMéditerranéen de Tétouan 2015
  • Awards
    • Grand Prize of International Competition at FID Marseille 2014
    • Prix Ulysse CCAS-Agglomération de Montpellier of International Competition Documentary Films at Cinemed Festival 2014 Montpellier/France
    • Best film of International competition at Forumdoc Festival Belo Horizonte/ Brasil 2014
    • Best Audience and Best Youth Jury Awards at Punto de Vista Festival/Spain 2015
    • Honorary Mention at PortoPostDOC Festival/Portugal

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