Watani My Homeland

Marcel Mettelsiefen

Germany, United Kingdom 2017, 77 min.

Documentary

Spoken language: Arabic

Subtitles: English

Touching documentary in which we perceive war through the eyes of children, being forced to flee and having to rebuild an existence in a new country. A harrowing experience due to the devastating effect of war and violence, but also disarming and hopeful due to the resilience of the children.

Despite the war in Syria, a father in Aleppo decides not to flee, but to remain in his homeland with his wife and four young children and to fight for a better existence. For the children, war has become the default: they help their father assemble homemade bombs and even play ‘war games’. Everything changes when their father is taken by IS one day and their mother decides that it is time to leave. Together with their mother, the children escape Syria through Istanbul to Germany, where they eventually end up in the town of Goslar.

The children soon adapt and seem to enjoy their new home, but the mother has a tough time. She misses her husband, and it is hard for her to get used to the new culture. Meanwhile, the family eagerly awaits news about their father, but they never hear anything.

Filmmaker Marcel Mettelsiefens filmed the family for three years and published a short version of the film in 2016.

Synopsis

Watani My Homeland is part of the On the Move theme programme.

Credits

Productions:

Unscrypt Limited

press@watanifilm.com

Talkshows & debates

Watani My Homeland: Q&A with Mahmoud Othman

Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 16:15

For three years, director Marcel Mettelsiefen filmed the family portrayed in Watani My Homeland as they lived in and then fled the war-torn city of Aleppo. We speak with his right-hand man Mahmoud Othman about these years, the making o

Watani My Homeland: Q&A with Mahmoud Othman

Monday, March 26, 2018 - 18:45

For three years, director Marcel Mettelsiefen filmed the family portrayed in Watani My Homeland as they lived in and then fled the war-torn city of Aleppo. We speak with his right-hand man Mahmoud Othman about these years, the making o