Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait
Exiled Syrian director Ossama Mohammed’s documentary depicts the brutal reality of the Syrian Civil War as captured firsthand by both its victims and its perpetrators. An astonishing collaboration between Mohammed, forced into exile after speaking out against the Assad regime, and Wiam Simav Bedirxan, a Kurdish filmmaker who captured footage of war-torn Homs, the film offers raw and visceral insights into life and death during the civil war that has left nearly 500,000 dead and 11 million homeless. Gradually shifting from its shocking and disturbing undertone to form a highly reflective and uniquely cinematic elegy, Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait is at once a landmark document of the Syrian Civil War and an unforgettable testament to human courage and dignity. Before the film, Syrian maqâm singer and composer Noma Omran will perform a capella.
(Ossama Mohammed, Syria/France, 2014, 94 min., digital video)
Mohammed's earlier films Step by Step (1978) and Stars in Broad Daylight (1988) are screening on May 1 in Wilder House with Mohammed in attendance. See full details here.
Ossama Mohammed is an award-winning filmmaker whose work blurs boundaries between fiction and documentary. His films have screened at festivals around the world including the London Film Festival, the Torino Film Festival, and the Cannes Film Festival, where his 2002 film Sunduq al-dunyâ was screened in the Un Certain Regard section. He has lived in exile in France since speaking out against the Assad regime in 2011.
Noma Omran is a Syrian singer, composer, and actress who performs in a variety of styles including European opera and traditional Syrian maqâm. A graduate of the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus and the Janáček Academy in Brno, Czech Republic, she has performed around the world. She has lived in exile in France since 2012.
Co-sponsored by the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT), the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, the Department of Political Science, and the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights.