“Sean McAllister’s documentary about a family of Syrian refugees in Europe would be compelling at any time. Now it is unmissable. This is about love, but it could as well be called A Syrian Rage Story or A Syrian Despair Story. It is the tragic portrait of a disintegrating marriage; the story of two people whose love has been hammered by fate, history and each other.
These are not refugees as we are encouraged to understand them by the nightly news: nameless poor people to whom the prosperous west can respond with pity or guilt. These refugees don’t want to be passive recipients of compassion, but active participants in their own destiny.”
As one of the children in the film says when prompted by director McAllister: “Does it make you want to leave? Live somewhere else?” He replies: “No, fight!”
“Filmed over a period of five years, this intimate and insightful documentary perfectly balances the personal and the political, telling its tale of national and international upheavals through their impact on individuals at the cutting edge of change. This is a profoundly moving account of two love stories: that between the film’s central couple, Amer and Raghda, who are torn apart by imprisonment and exile; the other being their love for Syria, which casts a long shadow over their lives, their marriage and their children.”
Mark Kermode, The Guardian
Venue: William Loveless Hall