Arts > The Return to Homs

26 June 2014 | by Francine Stock

The Return to Homs


Cinemas this week are showing two demonstrations of young male attitudes to their homeland. Each is heartbreaking in its way; both show the humanity behind the headlines. One is a drama but shot like a documentary, a winner last year at Cannes; the other is a documentary about the conflict in Syria that carried off the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Festival. The Return to Homs, directed by Talal Derki, was filmed over three years in the western Syrian city. It begins with two friends, Basset and Ossama. Nineteen-year-old Basset has matinee-idol looks, is goalkeeper for the Syrian national football team and has a voice like a Eurovision balladeer. He is glimpsed early on in his home city, singing to a peaceful demonstration. Ossama is a pacifist, an observer,


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