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A Comedian in a Syrian Tragedy: Film Screening + Q&A

An intimate portrait of renowned and loved Syrian actor Fares Helou, who stood on the side of people, calling for freedom of speech, and was therefore forced out of his home country to experience the absurdities of exiled existence.

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A Comedian in a Syrian Tragedy: Film Screening + Q&A

Time & Location

Mar 14, 6:00 PM – 8:10 PM GMT

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester M15 4FN, UK

About the Event

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2019, 95 min, Arabic, French, Subtitles in English

An intimate portrait of renowned and loved Syrian actor Fares Helou, who stood on the side of people, calling for freedom of speech, and was therefore forced out of his home country to experience the absurdities of exiled existence, told by Syrian director Rami Farah, who films - and shares - Fares’ struggle.

SYNOPSIS

This documentary is a chronicle of a revolution and war as experienced by the famous Syrian actor Fares Helou. Fares’ life changed radically when he joined the people in the streets of Damascus calling for the fall of the Syrian regime. He immediately had to go underground, joined in hiding by director Rami Farah and his camera.

When Fares had to flee Syria to France, Rami followed him. However, neither the actor nor the director had a script for the new chapter of their lives: Exile; a chapter full of questions, disappointments and alienation, but also of absurdity and cultural confusion that calls for laughter. A Comedian in a Syrian Tragedy is an intimate observation of the psychological violence and the exiled existence experienced by the director and his favourite actor.

Rami Farah is a Syrian filmmaker, actor and performer, born in 1980 and currently based in Paris. He first studied dance in Damascus at the High Institute for Dramatic Arts and has attended many training courses and workshops in contemporary film and dance. His first films and videos both use a blend of dance and audiovisual material. “ZamKan”, made in 2004, unfolds as a dialogue between a ceiling fan and a chair in a silent room. It was followed by “Point”, a short arts video that was screened in several exhibitions and festivals around the world.

He also co-created the work “Not a matter of If But When” with Julia Metzer and David Thorne. After graduating from the Arab institute in 2007, Rami made a 35-minute documentary about the Golan Heights entitled “Silence”. A Comedian in a Syrian Tragedy is Rami's first long feature film. It premiered in IDFA 2019. In 2021, Rami released his second film Our memory Belong to Us, which follows the journey of 3 Syrian activists.

Credits

Director: Rami Farah

Production: Lyana Saleh for OSOR, Cindy Le Templier for SHASHAT Multimedia Productions, Signe Byrge Sørensen for Final Cut for Real

Cinematography: Rami Farah

Editing: Gladys Joujou

Sound: Rami Farah

Sound design: Henrik Garnov

Music: Dima Orsho

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