We screened a film viewing of Silvered Water: Syria Self Portrait on Friday 14th July, directed by Ossama Mohammed. This film documents the destruction and atrocities of Syria’s war through a combination of eye-witness accounts, shot by a reported 1,001 Syrians on mobile phones and posted to the internet, and footage shot by Bedirxan during the siege of Homs.
Silvered Water premiered in the Special Screenings section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and won the London Film Festival Grierson Award for best documentary in 2014. It is a self-portrait of Syrians and their revolution, but it is also a self-reflective piece for Ossama Mohammed who, from his Parisian exile, takes us into his inner world of torment and survivor guilt: “In Syria, every day, YouTubers film then die; others kill then film. From within the tension between my estrangement in France and the revolution, an encounter happened. A young Kurdish woman from Homs began to chat with me, asking: ‘If your camera were here, in Homs, what would you be filming?’ Silvered Water is the story of that encounter.”
“I started with high respect for these images. I saw in these images the real work of art. Syria is building her portrait; it is Syria filming herself.”
Afterwards we had a stimulating Q&A with Ossama Mohammed.