Of Fathers and Sons Screen 3 articles

Of Fathers and Sons


Of Fathers and Sons Poster
  • This is the first film in recent memory that I came close to turning off, repeatedly, not out of boredom but because its subject was just too painful to watch. I made it through, but at times I found myself grappling with the ethics of a film that . . . entails watching as otherwise normal little boys are systematically turned into monsters. . . . Knowing that they will all squander their young lives getting blown to bits for Al Nusra, the film is a bit like watching children play in traffic.

  • This is an extremely accomplished and upsetting documentary that, in a better world, would not need to exist. . . . Derki’s film is an amazing feat of staying calm in circumstances where I personally would be just praying to survive, let alone having the fortitude to think about framing — the distance between the camera and a gun/mine is often alarmingly close, and even though the director was there and obviously intact to introduce the film, it’ll make you sweat.

  • An admirably audacious feat of documentarian access, Of Fathers and Sons is of obvious topical and anthropological interest as a glimpse into the gradual radicalization of young males and the deep community ties which underpin the process. While unambiguously disapproving in its overall tone . . . , it commendably avoids presenting Abu Osama as a two-dimensional fanatic, instead intelligently probing the roots of his anger and passionate involvement in armed struggle.