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Of Fathers and Sons

Fall Grants 2017

Talal Derki / Feature Documentary / Syria, Germany, Qatar / 2017 / 98 min / Original Language: Arabic


Syrian filmmaker Talal Derki returns after his Sundance prize-winning documentary ‘Return To Homs’ (2013) with a vivid and deeply disturbing portrait of a household gripped by extreme jihadism. For more than two years he lived with the family of Abu Osama, an Al-Nusra fighter in a small village in northern Syria. Focussing mainly on his children, the film provides an exceptionally rare insight into what it means to grow up with a father whose sole dream is to establish an Islamic Caliphate.

There are fleeting moments of tenderness between father and son, but these only serve as a stark contrast to the ever-darkening events as the film unfolds and the lives of his children are irrevocably changed. Through the journey of his two oldest sons, Osama (13) and Ayman (12), we see how all behaviour, be it compassion or hate, is passed down or learned. Capturing the lives of these vulnerable and impressionable boys as they stand at a crossroads in their development, Derki enables us to emotionally experience and understand the complex tragedy of life in war-torn Syria.


Talal Derki
Talal Derki
Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias Siebert, Hans Robert Eisenhauer
Executive Producer
Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Geralyn White Dreyfous
Production Company
BASIS BERLIN Filmproduktion GmbH

About the Director

Talal Derki was born in Damascus and has been based in Berlin since 2013. He studied film directing in Greece and was the winner of the German Academy Film Award, ‘Lola’, in 2019. And Oscar-nominated for Best Documentary. Talal Derki’s short films and feature-length documentaries received many awards at various festivals. Both of his films 'Return to Homs’ and ‘Of Fathers and Sons’ won the Grund Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014 and 2018.

Awards and Festival History


"IDFA 2017 (WP)
Visions du Reel 2018
Thessaloniki Documentary FF 2018
Zagrebdox 2018
Docpoint Tallinn FF 2018
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018
DOC NYC 2018
AFI FF 2018
Sarajevo FF 2018, Partner Presents
Thubingen Arab FF 2018
San Francisco Film Society Presents, 4


"Documentary Grand Jury Prize, Sundance FF 2018, World Cinema
Silver Star for Documentary Film and Gold Star for the Best Arab Documentary Film, El Gouna FF 2018
Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award and Special Jury Mention, Full Frame Documenta


  • Main Contact

    Tobias Siebert

    BASIS BERLIN Filmproduktion GmbH
    +49 305 884 3990

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