Human Rights Watch Festival 2017: Our Review of ‘A Syrian Love Story’

Human Rights Watch Festival 2017: Our Review of ‘A Syrian Love Story’

Sometimes you just can’t be afraid to let a movie kick your ass.

Kicking off this year’s installment of the Human Rights Watch Festival Thursday night at the TIFF Bell Lightbox; A Syrian Love Story ramps up the horrors of war and gives them human stakes far beyond the obvious and the expected for those who managed to get out of the country in time.

Filmed over the course of five years, this film truly documents the struggle and the sacrifices involved in finding political and personal freedom.  With our subjects Raghda and Amer it begins as a journey filled with hope and dreams but subsequently spirals into one of despair and hopelessness as their journey to freedom is filled with such conflict that it threatens to tear apart their entire family.

Embedded with this family for years, director Sean McAllister allows such a unique story to rise as he finds these two who fell in love while in prison together and subsequently started a family only to see the revolution and the effects of everything in their lives tear it apart is just a heartbreaking experience that truly puts the horrors of war into an emotional sounding chamber for these people, because even though they got out, it doesn’t mean that the pain they have suffered goes away.

Seeing the films subjects both fight for one another and their family while also being very much at odds with one another looking for their self worth and meaning now removed from this political struggle is really something to watch.  It’s a shatteringly honest portrayal of life and human emotion that is hard to look away from.

A Syrian Love Story is about the how the horrors of war can still go on for those long removed from it.

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David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.