A film that tells the griping story of a Syrian family living under siege imposed by the Assad regime on many cities and towns was screened at a Belgian film festival. The film sheds light on war crimes that have been committed against the civilian population since 2011.
The ‘Waha’ film festival, which is being held in the Belgian city of Turnhout, opened with the film ‘In Syria’ on Tuesday. Directed by Belgian filmmaker Philippe Van Leeuw, the film depicts the suffering of Syrian civilians living under suffocating siege imposed by the Assad regime.
The film reflects the importance of the issue of the Syrian people and the Syrian conflict which occupied the attention of the world not only with its political developments, but also with the humanitarian disaster caused by the Assad regime’s seven-year war against the Syrian people.
Speaking to the audience during the opening ceremony, Ali Nazir, co-organizer of the festival and former detainee in the prisons of the Assad regime, said hat there was still widespread ignorance about refugees in Europe. Nazir also referred to the existence of “mutual fear” in the host communities.
Such an event offers an opportunity for dialogue and deeper understanding between refugees and the host communities, Nazir added.
For his part, Mark Bonnen, director and founder of Moffe international film festival, said: “Though the Waha festival is still nascent and in its second version, the idea is especially important as the festival specializes in Arabic-speaking cinema and needs to be expanded.”
“Such films presented to Western viewers can contribute to the understanding of the situation in Syria more than newsletters do,” Bonnen said.
Firas Shtour, a firefighter and a former football coach at the Homs-based Karama football club, said that the film showed only a small portion of the Syrian tragedy. He pointed out that his family lived under siege in the city of Homs without accesses to electricity, water, or internet connection.”
‘In Syria’ depicts a day in the life of a Syrian family living under siege and bombing in Damascus. It is one of seven films that will be screened at the festival, all of which revolve on events and subjects affecting the Middle East and North Africa. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Al-Jazeera)