Ma'a al-Fidda

Silvered Water, Syria Self Portrait

Ossama Mohammed, Wiam Bedirxan

France, Syria, USA, Lebanon 2014. 92 Min.
Color. Digitaler Link.

An image burns itself into the memory: It is the picture of a naked boy, kissing the boots of a soldier, who had beaten him to the ground just moments before. There is no doubt that only the boy’s fear of more violence and torture get him to do this, even if the camera – possibly from a smartphone – merely allows for a blurry recording of the incident. Just as many of the other video snippets in the film are jittery, chopped or out of focus, and yet, they not only convey all the horror but a relentless urge for change, and most of all: for freedom.


Silvered Water consists of images shot by 1.001 Syrians, as it says at the beginning of the film, put together by Ossama Mohammed to a disturbing collage that evolved out of his own helplessness while living in exile in Paris. Additional support came from Wiam Simav Bedirxan, a young Kurdish filmmaker in Homs, whose footage infuses the second half of the film with a sense of both hope and grief. Mohammed himself was forced to leave Syria in 2011, when the Arabic Spring uprisings erupted in the region. First released in 2014, his moving documentary essay remains an unusual and, in its intensity, unique testimony of the war that followed.


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DirectorOssama Mohammed, Wiam Bedirxan
ScreenplayOssama Mohammed, Wiam Bedirxan