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One afternoon, on a typical day at work, Adib is confronted with devastating news: His eldest daughter, Muna, has gone missing in Damascus. Now Adib, who has not been back in over 20 years, must return to Syria and deal with his secret past in order to find her. Inescapable is a thriller about a father's desperate search for his daughter and the chaos of the Middle East he left behind. Written by
After reading some other reviews of this film online, I was expecting to be slightly disappointed...but was pleasantly surprised by it. Having been a fan of Ruba Nadda's other films, (and a general groupie of anything involving Alexander Siddig), I was eager to see her newest film as part of the CIFF.
The movie starts rather abruptly, and just dives in to the plot - A man, Adib (who is originally from Syria but has lived in Toronto for the past 25 years) goes to Damascus to search for his adult daughter who has gone missing while traveling there. This sudden, rather stark beginning is very different from Nadda's last major film, (the subtle and slow paced "Cairo Time") but, it works: The story develops naturally in a somewhat frantic way (in keeping with the protagonists understandable anxiety) from this stark beginning, and we learn more and more about Adib's past and just why his daughter is in such danger. Marisa Tomei is also particularly convincing as the lover that Adib left behind suddenly some 2 decades ago, and Siddig is of course, flawless as always.
Without revealing too much of the plot, I will say (having traveled through Syria), that director Nadda has done a brilliant job of capturing the somewhat concerning climate of a police state, while also illuminating the rather conflicting general atmosphere of Damascus- haunting, beautiful, blue- tinted layers of history, coupled with this very brutal military presence.
This is a real departure for Nadda, shooting a political thriller as opposed to a romantic drama, but I think she succeeds simply for the fact that watching it, I felt like I WAS in Damascus...and she was able to convey this in a film she shot in only 29 days, in South Africa (the Syrian government obviously not having let her film there).
While there could have been slightly more character development in some cases, I found the film to be beautifully shot, and it kept its pace suitable to the subject matter.
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