The War Show

Andreas Dalsgaard, Obaidah Zytoon
Finland, Syria 2016 | 104 Min. | OmeU
Q&A with: Andreas Dalsgaard via Skype

In her live radio show Obaidah Zytoon plays the sound of the Syrian rev­o­lu­tion. That’s how, in March 2011, her per­son­al jour­ney into the unknown start­ed, full of hope and bound­less energy. She is the nar­ra­tor who intro­duces us to her friends, young people with an aca­d­e­m­ic or artis­tic back­ground who like to have par­ties on the beach or smoke hash. Elec­tive affini­ties, united by the dream of a free life and ready to pay a high price. Togeth­er they also go out into the streets to film the protests. They pro­duce what they believe the regime fears most: images. But then the events in the streets esca­late and the images with them.

More and more fre­quent­ly, Obaidah reflects, actions are per­formed for the camera. And yet the “War Show” is real in a brutal way. Trav­el­ling all over Syria, always in the line of fire and on the thresh­old of the next level of esca­la­tion, she doc­u­ments the dynam­ics of war in seven chap­ters, from “Rev­o­lu­tion” to “Extrem­ism”. But it’s the per­son­al nar­ra­tive that puts every­thing in per­spec­tive. Obaidah Zytoon and Andreas Dals­gaard have viewed more than 400 hours of mate­ri­als to shape this story which lets us expe­ri­ence how a depar­ture is fol­lowed by a bot­tom­less fall and how images help shape real­i­ty. What start­ed as a video diary and dig­i­tal grass roots move­ment becomes a requiem.

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Obaidah Zytoon geb. 1976 in Zabadani, Syrien. Sie studierte Englis­che Lit­er­atur an der Uni­ver­sität Damaskus. 2008 ent­stand ihr erster Doku­men­tarfilm THROUGH WOMEN’S EYES. Sie ist Mit­be­grün­derin des Syrian Artist-Activist Col­lec­tive Waw Al-Wasel, das Mul­ti­me­dia Art und Kurz­filme zum Syrienkon­flikt pro­duziert. THE WAR SHOW ist ihre erste Regiear­beit.

Andreas Dals­gaard geb. 1980 in Däne­mark, studierte Anthro­polo­gie an der Aarhus Uni­ver­si­ty und in Paris, dann Film­regie an der Danish Nation­al Film School. Mit­be­grün­der der Pro­duk­tions­fir­ma Elk Film, schreibt und insze­niert für The­ater, Film und TV. Seine Doku­men­tarfilme wurden auf inter­na­tionalen Fes­ti­vals gezeigt und mit Preisen aus­geze­ich­net. Filme u.a.: AFGHAN MUSCLES (2007, AFI Grand Prix; World Best Grad­u­a­tion Film, Copen­hagen), BOGOTA CHANGE (2009), THE HUMAN SCALE (2012, Al Jazeera Audi­ence Award), LIFE IS SACRED (2015).