Norsk filminstitutt

Syrialism is a docu-drama that explores the complex feelings of survival guilt felt by an enigmatic Syrian man living in Oslo. The film uses elements of Surrealism to explore the nature of dreams, memory and imagination as a way of dealing with depression. 


Syrialism is a docu-drama that explores the complex feelings of survival guilt felt by an enigmatic Syrian man living in Oslo. The film uses elements of Surrealism to explore the nature of dreams, memory, and imagination as a way of dealing with depression. The film throws us from an interview with Salam to the middle of his nightmares, where he is confronted with his diseased brother and his child that died in Syria. He wakes up only to be thrown into another dream where his jealous sisters tease him about forgetting about how tough they have it back home. Salam is being mocked and misunderstood by the non-stop visits he gets from his family members in his dreams. 

Fearful of becoming desensitized to his people’s suffering, Salam tries to disconnect from these simple Norwegian comforts, sometimes in real life, but mostly in his head. By visualizing and filming Salam’s dreams, we tap into a surreal world where he re-enacts what he wishes he could do and say to them. This agency he gets by re-enacting his dreams empowers him to imagine a new narrative, one where he could send water from his apartment all the way to Syria, one where he can tell the whole world to accept that he is not happy just because he is safe!

The film highlights the complex relations that result between refugees and their families back home and offers an intimate look at an overlooked psychological state that many refugees struggle with as their homeland fades into the news.

Production and distribution

Production Year:
2020
Production country:
Norway
Release date (national):
2020-11-20
Production company:
Integral Film AS
Financing company:
Norwegian Film Institute
Viken Filmsenter
Fritt Ord Foundation
Producer:
Nefise Özkal Lorentzen
Jørgen Lorentzen
Film consultant:
Lars Løge
Cecilie Stranger-Thorsen

Director

  • Dalia Al-Kury

    Dalia Kury (b. 1980) is a documentary filmmaker and a cultural producer. Her award winning films deal with the Arab identity and emerging cultural phenomena in the Arab world. Her latest feature film Possessed by Djinn was commissioned by ZDF Arte, and won the first prize at the Robert Bosch funding competition 2014, along two funds at the Venice Biennale 2014. The film was supported by Eurodoc and SANAD and premiered at the prestigious Hot Docs festival 2015. Dalia holds an MA in Screen Documentary, from Goldsmiths University - UK and is the author of 11 documentaries that have been screened or commissioned either by Aljazeera, Al Arabiya or Arte. Dalia lives in Oslo. 


    Filmography: 

    Syrialism (2020)

    Privacy of Wounds (2018)

    Possessed by Djinn(2015)

    Peshmerga, one more time! (2015)

    River Jordan “The last breath” (2012)

    Asdika Al Arab TV series (2011)

    To Be Adiga (2010)

    Amman. East Vs West (2009)

    Banat Bab Allah (2009)

    Smile! You are in South Lebanon (2008)

    Arabizi 101 (2006)

    Caution! Comment Ahead (2006)


    Dalia Al-Kury

Cast

Himself:
Stev Osten
Sister:
Angie Husami Finvold
Sister:
Tamar Makdis
Mustafa :
Omar Aljundi
Sister-in-law:
Aya Mohammad
Mustafa's daughter:
Mariam El Jeries
Psychiatrist:
Jørgen Lorentzen

Festivals

2020:
Nordic/Docs
2020:
Movies on War

Crew

Director:
Dalia Al-Kury
Screenplay:
Dalia Al-Kury
Cinematographer:
Anders Hoft
Editor:
Morten Haslerud
Composer:
Andreu Jacob
Makeup artist:
Anette Bjerke Klophus
Sound Design:
Andreu Jacob
Sound Recording:
Valeria A. Quezada Munoz
VFX supervisor:
Simon Valentine

Technical information

Format:
DCP 4k
Screen ratio:
16:9
Colour:
Colour
Sound format:
Stereo 5.1
Length in mins:
22'
Language:
Arabic
Norwegian
Subtitles:
English

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