The War As Show

Obaidah Zytoon and Andreas Dalsgaard

Denmark 2016, 1h 40min.

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?”

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