A Syrian Love Story
- 1h 16m
Filmed over 5 years, A Syrian Love Story charts an incredible odyssey to political freedom. For Raghda and Amer, it is a journey of hope, dreams and despair: for the revolution, their homela... Read allFilmed over 5 years, A Syrian Love Story charts an incredible odyssey to political freedom. For Raghda and Amer, it is a journey of hope, dreams and despair: for the revolution, their homeland and each other.Filmed over 5 years, A Syrian Love Story charts an incredible odyssey to political freedom. For Raghda and Amer, it is a journey of hope, dreams and despair: for the revolution, their homeland and each other.
We went with a friend to attend the screening of this movie in a university where the director was invited. Super excited to see something different and supposedly refreshing from the cliché north- American movies. Little had I researched the director.
Before the movie started, there was a professor of humanities invited to give us an introduction and a bit of context. Let's say that it wasn't the most interesting introduction as it was quite an academic one. However, the surprise came when Mr. McAllister gets on stage to say a few words before the movie gets started... "Well, that was quite a long lecture, huh... I mean, did you get any of it? Did it make sense? I made this movie and I got no idea what he talked about (referring to the previous professor). And, I really do not want to hear the word context anymore. Not that I dislike it. But, just to give you give you guys a bit of context, (start laughing here)..." and so continues Mr. McAllister using sarcasm to make a good part of the audience (700 people) laugh on the expense of that poor professor.
So the movie starts, and you can see Mr. McAllister snoop into the narrative to make it suit his own vision of what this story should be telling. And then, you are left with this weird sensation of not knowing whether the protagonists were telling their own life, or were they just a new sort of actors, between reality and fiction. They were real enough for this to be considered sort of a documentary, but words, phrases, conversations were forced/dropped unto them throughout the movie. And that leaves you thinking that they were these weird half actors, almost playing their own character, but in the light of how McAllister would want it. And that is why, for me, this is not a documentary.
To top it off however, there was a Q&A with Mr. McAllister at the end of the movie. So after the applause, he gets on stage and starts: "So yeah, we will start with the questions, but just a bit of context (insert here a pause long enough and a good bunch to start laughing for him making fun of the professor).." After that movie was done, Mr.McAllister could not let go of this poor professor who had the misfortune of accepting to do the opening. With my friend we only stayed for one question to be asked and we left as no occasion was missed to use sarcasm and irony to make fun of the prof.
That was a hugely disappointing but rather eye opening experience. I would expect that someone who cares so much about people, and decides to shed light unto tragic situations, has the basis of human empathy, respect, and compassion. But what I witnessed was a man full of himself, foolishly proud for making this (rather basic) movie, that he could not give the least amount of respect or appreciation to someone not as "cool" as himelf. I left that place thinking that someone who opposes a dictator and an oppressing regime should know about basic human values, but the harsh reality is that Mr. McAllister does not. And that made the rest of the movie feel like quite a hypocrisy.
- Feb 1, 2016