Syria Through a Different Lens: A Night of Syrian Film

The Campbell River Art Gallery will be hosting a film screening on June 5th at the Timberline Theatre from 7 to 9 pm. We have hand-selected three films about Syria of various lengths which each contribute a unique perspective on modern life in Syria. They go hand in hand with the challenging works in Behind the Lines: Contemporary Syrian Art, currently on display in our main gallery.

All three films offer a snapshot of daily life in war-torn Syria. Each infused with the Inspiring bravery required to share stories in a place where opportunities for artistic expression are severely limited. These films as well as the artworks in Behind the Lines are a testament to the enduring strength of the human spirit.

We hope that this event builds community here in Campbell River, much like the communities that the films highlight and the international collaborative efforts required to make Behind the Lines possible. By fostering discussion around these powerful films, we can create empathy and support for the global plight of refugees and immigrants right here at home.

As a contemporary art gallery, we strive to acknowledge a variety of art forms, including film. Beyond the aesthetic possibilities of cinematography, we believe in the political function of art to tell stories that aren’t being listened to otherwise. The medium of film is perfectly poised to accomplish this, due the accessibility of today’s technology. An aspiring filmmaker doesn’t need much equipment other than a cellphone to record and share their vision across the world. We are proud to uplift the voices of contemporary filmmakers, working tirelessly in Syria and beyond to make conditions there known, by sharing these screenings with you.

Mohammad Zaza, The Photographer, 2016.

To give you a sneak peek at the films, below are brief summaries of each. Click through to read more about them.

The first short film is Love During the Siege. This film and Tatlit were produced by Bidayyat, a Syrian company that supports documentaries and experimental films as well as training programs for documentary filmmakers. “Love” chronicles a family living in southern Damascus, personalizing the staggering statistics of the devastation of the civil war.

The feature-length documentary, I Am the Revolution, is a portrait of three powerful women across the Middle East in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. They are educators, freedom fighters, politicians, and most importantly, leaders. The film’s director is Italian journalist Benedetta Argentieri, who has worked extensively covering conflict in the Middle East.

Tatlit is a short piece which chronicles the goings-on in the urban centre. The scenes are set to a soundtrack with a heavy beat, emphasizing the persistent rhythm of everyday life even in times of hardship.

Tickets for the film night are $7 plus service fees, available through Eventbrite. Popcorn and refreshments will be available for purchase at the event.

We also welcome you to join us on June 13th from 5 to 7 pm for the second opening of Behind the Lines. We have many more new works for you to appreciate and contemplate with your newly deepened appreciation of Syrian culture.

Come see us in Spirit Square the following Saturday, June 15th, from 1 to 3 pm for an afternoon of Syrian food and music. Kids can learn to write their names in Arabic at our monthly Super Saturday event. There will also be guided tours of the second showing with our Curator of Contemporary Art in the main gallery. We hope to see you there!