Only an involved insider voice can pass through the mortal events in recent years’ Syria, reconstructing the phases of destruction since 2011. Here, some 40 years after the Assad family regime, Obaidah Zytoon and Andreas Dalsgaard’s Danish-produced film The War Show starts. The film is trying, in the dusty savagery, to establish a, mostly, chronologic order, structured in six stages (Revolution – Suppression – Resistance – Siege – Frontlines – Extremism), only counterpointed by the fifth chapter entitled Memories, which describes a short and fragile moment of peace achieved by escaping into nature, with music and joints, for a breather.

The film is led by a female narrator talking about her friends, experiences and analysis with remarkable brevity and clarity. Some of the film’s faces appear blurred to disguise their identity. It is later revealed that these remain alive – and still at risk. Obaidah Zytoon and her friends joined the revolution. The first chapter Revolution recounts the initial euphoria, the sensation of living, requesting freedom for everybody, Christians and Muslims, the first time feeling liberated from a no-future-society of extreme injustice. In her rock radio show, Obaidah asks prophetically: “If we try to change destiny, will it become better or worse?”

With a hand-held camera infiltrating the conflict zones, second chapter Suppression focuses on how demonstrations turn into funerals. Risking one’s life in order to struggle becomes a new daily reality. Third chapter Resistance resumes the state of daily murders and torture, organised, strategically and precisely, outside of the war field by secret state secret forces. As result, the revolution transforms itself into militarisation, resistance into armed defence. Siege documents the upcoming territory war dominated by snipers, starvation and other forms of human degradations, including halting petrol and electricity support. The film cameras get the most important objects in the conflict as an appeal to the international community asking for reaction and support. Wounds are showed off proudly, assisted by an increasing longing for heroism. Obaidah’s friends are systematically tortured and murdered, partly in specific military ‘hospitals’.

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