Of Fathers and Sons

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Reviews Counted: 17

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 74


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Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.3/5

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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 (17) | Top Critics (5)

  • Terki avoids too much moralizing or even authoring, allowing his camera and presence to fade into the background of most scenes.

    Nov 23, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • [Derki's poetic narration] serve to frame "Of Fathers and Sons" with the feeling that you're seeing a warped dream of family survival, one in which still-noticeable human bonds can't help but be corroded by isolating hatred and extremist ideology.

    Nov 20, 2018 | Full Review…
  • "Of Fathers and Sons" is ultimately more impressive for its access than it is revealing of drives or beliefs. If Derki's goal was to capture what causes ideology to spread, he and his camera look without seeing.

    Nov 15, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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…

    Guy Lodge

    Top Critic
  • At its heart, this film perceptively asks us to hold our vitriol for a short while, and to see what the face of jihadist fundamentalism really looks like.

    Feb 17, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Of Fathers and Sons

Derki makes such an effort to be a fly on the wall that it becomes obvious how overly labored and edited together the result is (just pay attention to where the camera is), but at least he captures a disturbing reality in which childhood innocence dies with fanaticism and hatred.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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