Cleveland International Film Festival } March 25 – April 5, 2020 } Tower City Cinemas

Of Fathers and Sons


Year: 2017
Run Time: 98 minutes

Of Fathers and Sons
Of Fathers and Sons
Of Fathers and Sons
Of Fathers and Sons

Film director Talal Terki returns to his homeland of Northern Syria, where he gains the trust of Abu Osama, a radical Islamic extremist. Over the course of two years, Terki captures Osama’s daily life, focusing his camera mainly on the relationship between Osama and his young sons, who he is raising to be jihadists. The children spend their time playing war in destroyed tanks and minefields, with the almost constant sound of explosions in the distance. As they learn violence, hatred, and discipline from Osama, the boys strive to please him at all costs. Deeply unsettling, the film’s observational approach captures the gradual loss of innocence as the boys grow and prepare to follow in their father’s footsteps. OF FATHERS AND SONS is an incredibly brave documentary that provides rare insight into the personal lives and relationships of Islamic fundamentalists. Perhaps the most shocking revelation of all is the genuine love Osama has for his children, despite the path he has chosen for them. (In Arabic with subtitles) —G.S.

CIFF42 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Friday, April 13, 2018 at 9:00 PM

Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 9:15 AM

Voices of the Arab World

Ad Hoc Docs Competition


Talal Terki

Talal Terki was born in 1977 in Damascus, Syria. He graduated in 2013 from the Stavrako High Institute of Cinematographic Art and Television. Terki has worked as a freelance cameraman for CNN and Thomson Reuters. His first feature documentary “Return to Homs” received worldwide recognition and won many awards including the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014.

Return to Homs (2013), OF FATHERS AND SONS (2017)

Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias N. Siebert, Hans Robert Eisenhauer

Kahtan Hasson

Anne Fabini

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