Silvered Water Review (TIFF2014)

Posted 7 years ago by myetvmedia

Ossama Mohammed is a Syrian exile in Paris, who cobbled together footage from youtube, liveleak and more to make an on-the-ground documentary about the Syrian crisis without entering Syria. Some of the footage is from civilians, some are leaks from soldiers or police with a guilty conscience, and others were released as a warning. This is what happens when you mess with Basshar Al-Assad. Later, he is assisted by Wiam Simav Bedirxan, who provided her own footage from Homs, a city wracked by violence.

Sunshine and rainbows are not the order of the day. Assad is a dictator who maintains control through violence and terror, ordering troops to fire on civilians and allegedly using chemical weapons on his own people. The footage we see is raw, brutal and uncommonly cruel. Men, women and children are gunned down in the street. Children decide their route home from school depending on where snipers are nesting today. We see people hauling corpses off the street with sticks and rope to avoid getting shot themselves. Children are pulled out of school because the education they are receiving is deemed subversive.

My one criticism would be a lack of background. If you are unfamiliar with the situation, the years of civil war and slaughter come at you out of nowhere. On the other hand, the sheer brutality of what we see does not need context. It cannot be justified. Still, a brief overview of events up to this point would have been a help.

A very difficult film to watch, but probably the most important film at this year’s TIFF.

Donal O’Connor

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