“Portraits d’Idleb” is a series of short films that portray the lives and dreams of Syrians living in the province of Idlib, ten years after the beginning of the Syrian Revolution. The ten films follow diverse characters, all affected by the ongoing war in Syria.
One of the characters, Anas, dreams of becoming a professional football player, but living in a country torn by war has made it challenging to pursue his dreams. Asmaa, on the other hand, is part of the Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, and has saved over 100,000 lives. Abdel Razzak, a painter, survived six years of imprisonment and torture and is now trying to rebuild his life through art. Khalifa, an activist, was imprisoned and sentenced to death but eventually got a second chance at life.
The series also showcases the struggles of those who have been displaced from their homes, such as Mohammad, who now lives in a refugee camp near the Turkish border, where he sings about the daily lives of displaced Syrians. Abu Staif, a gravedigger, has seen his job change dramatically as many civilians and children are buried due to the ongoing conflict.
Inès, a student who dreams of becoming a dentist, risks her life to attend college despite the dangers. Hamdi, an ex-combatant, is haunted by his past, and General Mohammad Ahmad Al-Mohammad, a former member of the Syrian army, now fights with the opposition forces. Finally, Maysaa, whose family was separated by the war, illustrates the devastating effects of the conflict on families.
“Portraits d’Idleb” is an intimate look at the daily lives of Syrians affected by the ongoing war. The series highlights their hopes and dreams, as well as the challenges they face living in a war-torn country. It provides a humanizing perspective on the conflict, reminding us that behind every statistic, there is a story of resilience and courage. The series is a poignant reminder of the human cost of war and the importance of empathy and compassion.
The film was created in collaboration with the AMC team, including Yaman Khatib and Fadi Al-Halabi, who contributed to the filming process and shared the directing duties with Suzanne Allant. This Franco-Syrian team won the prestigious Bayeux Prize in 2020 for their documentary “Syrie, dans le piège d’Idleb,” which highlights the difficult situation in the region.