Opening 21 Mar 2019
In his film Of Fathers and Sons, filmmaker Talal Derki shows the daily life of a father (Abu Osama one of the founders of Nusra, the Syrian arm of Al-Qaeda) and his two eldest sons Osama and Ayman over a period of two and a half years. The majority of the film focuses on the boys and how they come of age living in a world of war and religious extremism. The father believes that the fight for a Caliphate (an Islamic State) is more important than any need or dream his sons might have and that an education in weapon making and fighting will bring them all closer to that goal.
By having narration only at the beginning and end of the film, the documentary portrays an intimate look in to the sometimes loving and sometimes brutal reality of living as a male in a family that follows the path of Jihad. The only females in the film are school children filmed from a distance. Of Father and Sons was nominated for an Academy Award for the Best Documentary Feature and won the Grand Jury Prize for World Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. (Alana Leichert)