In ‘Behind the Scenes’, Syrian film searches for lost justice
DAMASCUS - Syrian director Osama Obeid al-Nasser attempts to open new doors with his film “Behind the Scenes” (Kawaliss), shedding light with his camera on the world of Syria’s marginalised who are struggling to realise their dreams in a world full of chaos, falsehood and violence.
Produced by the Syrian National Film Organisation, the film examines the intersecting paths of people as they search for social and legal justice while bearing the pain of daily life and navigating through society’s close-minded and corrupt systems.
There is the father who forcibly marries his daughter to someone she does not like, the violent man who hits his wife, permanently disabling her and the despondent individual who is so weighed down by the daily grind that he attempts suicide. All of these characters’ destinies – and experiences of suffering– converge in the film.
The movie’s drama reaches its climax through a unique parallel montage style, culminating in a central scene in the courthouse.
As a confused man on the roof of a building prepares to commit suicide, a bereaved lover arrives at the marriage of the woman he loves, a battered wife awaits the verdict of her trial and two lovers attempt to complete their marriage procedures, a terror attack suddenly occurs at the courthouse.
The attack changes the course of the film’s dramatic context, putting people’s quest for better living conditions under a different light. The incident hints that a violent incident is perhaps what is needed for Syria’s social and judicial corruption to end.
“Behind the Scenes” is directed by Osama Obeid al-Nasser, and features actors Robin Issa, Kifah al-Khous, Ramiz Atallah, Wassim Qazak, Yasser Al-Bahra, Tulip Hammouda, Loris Qazak, Duraid Rahal, Ahmed Eid, Muhammad Shamma, Raja Al-Youssef and the child Talib Qadi.
Obeid Al-Nasser, who works as a dentist in addition to being a film director, aims to highlight the daily problems that ordinary Syrians face.
He believes the film poses a set of questions through the intermingling of characters and their experiences, as fates meet and diverge in search for justice.
“I liked the controversy sparked by the film after its screening, especially about the last ten minutes of the plot. Was society’s immersion in corruption and extremism a cause or a result of the devastation where we live? Could ruin itself be a solution as a way to new beginnings and a second chance to reshuffle all the cards? In addition to all that, the thrill or fun factor of the movie is there,” he commented.