Of Fathers and Sons (2018)

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Movie Info

After his Sundance award-winning documentary Return to Homs, Talal Derki returned to his homeland where he gained the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years. His camera focuses mainly on the children, providing an extremely rare insight into what it means to grow up with a father whose only dream is to establish an Islamic Caliphate. Osama (13) and his brother Ayman (12) are in the center of the story. They both love and admire their father and obey his words, but while Osama seems to follow the path of Jihad, Ayman wants to go back to school. The film captures the moment when the children have to let go of their youth and are finally turned into Jihadi fighters. No matter how close the war comes-one thing they have already learned: they must not cry.

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Critic Reviews for Of Fathers and Sons

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2)

An admirably audacious feat of documentarian access, Of Fathers and Sons is of obvious topical and anthropological interest as a glimpse into the gradual radicalization of young males and the deep community ties which underpin the process.

Jan 4, 2018 | Full Review…

An intrepid, cold sweat-inducing study of Jihadi radicalization in the home from celebrated Syrian docmaker Talal Derki.

Nov 24, 2017 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

An audacious writer-director risks his life in Syria to put a face on a jihadist, a man who can elicit some sympathy even from Americans.

Nov 7, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

The film's verité approach risks humanizing Abu Osama, but we eventually gain a complex understanding of the banality of his evil.

Nov 4, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Merely being present to bear witness to this side of the Syrian border would make "Of Fathers and Sons" well worth watching, but Derki is so scrupulous in what he reveals about how ingrained the beliefs of the Islamic jihadis are.

Oct 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Of Fathers and Sons is a vital addition to the cultural picture of the Syrian conflict.

Jan 27, 2018 | Rating: B | Full Review…

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