Press release: Syrian New Waves - Film, visual art, music, talks

Press release: Syrian New Waves - Film, visual art, music, talks

Syrian New Waves
Film, visual art, music, talks

Amsterdam, Friday 28 July 2017

Contemporary filmmakers and artists from Syria create personal documentaries that are clearly influenced by directors such as Jean-Luc Godard and Bernardo Bertolucci. These contemplative films are a reaction to the endless repetition of shocking images of war on social media. What is perception and what is reality? From 8 to 10 September, EYE Filmmuseum presents the programme ‘Syrian New Waves’, providing a broader perspective on the reality of Syria. Three days of film, visual art, music, and live talks at the EYE Filmmuseum.

Syrian New Waves, 8 - 10 September in EYE Filmmuseum, IJpromenade 1, Amsterdam.


Thinking of Syria, what comes to mind is war; chaos, destruction, violence, and suffering. Over the past few years, social media have been flooded daily with images of Syrian cities reduced to ruins, of dead children recovered from the debris, of emaciated citizens of cities under siege, of overflowing refugee camps. We may even become desensitized from seeing this kinds of images too often. They lose their power.


From 8 to 10 September, EYE presents the work of a new generation of Syrian filmmakers opposing this on-line profusion of shocking images and the one-sided picture they paint of their country. Syrian New Waves includes contemplative documentaries that are informed by personal memories and contain references to classic cinema. After the relentless sharing of images it is now time to interpret them.


The programme connects the works of Ammar al-Beik, Avo Kaprealian, and Sara Fattahi with the language, themes and aesthetics of directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergej Parajanov, and Chantal Akerman. These makers from different generations and of various nationalities have posed similar questions in their work. How do your personal filmed memories interact and intersect with historical archives and the collective visual memory?


How do you make the biography of an entire people into a universal, poetic story? How do you film every day family life in an unsafe environment? Syrian New Waves opens a space for reflection on filming in times of visual abundance, showing the Syria that the Syrians know.

Film and Opening Night

EYE screens Houses without Doors (Avo Kaprealian, 2016), Coma (Sara Fattahi, 2015),  and Syria Trilogy (Ammar al-Beik, 2011-2015), as well as their main sources of inspiration: The Color of Pomegranates (Sergej Parajanov, 1969), No home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015), Io e te (Bernardo Bertolucci, 2012), and Ici et ailleurs (Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin, 1976).


The Syrian filmmakers will attend the screenings to comment on their own work and the films that inspired them. In addition to the main programme, Q&As and live talks will be held. On the opening night, deejay and musician Hello Psychaleppo will perform live during the screening of Houses without Doors, for which he also wrote the score.


The photo collage Lost Images by filmmaker and artist Ammar al-Beik consists of old photographs that he found at a Damascus flea market. He reworked them into new artworks with autobiographical motifs.

More information

Note to the editors, not for publication

For more information please contact:

Marnix van Wijk
Publicity manager

EYE Filmmuseum

T. +31 (0)20 - 5891 405

M. +31 (0)6 2783 2016


- press release (.pdf)

- high res images (.jpg)