a political thriller in Syria by Bashar Al-Assad


We owe to Translator to deal with a reality that no fictional film has yet taken on the task of evoking, namely the violence exercised by the regime of Bashar Al-Assad on the Syrian population at the time when the first fires of the revolution shudder, in 2011. To do this, the filmmakers Rana Kazkaz and Anas Khalaf have opted for the political thriller, which closes like a vice around Sami, a translator who, while he was officiating for the Syrian Olympic team in Sydney, in 2000 , commits a slip of the tongue about the recent death of President Hafez Al-Assad. The blunder forced him to stay in Australia, under the status of political refugee.

The two directors have the great idea of ​​building their story, inspired by real facts and characters, around a chameleon figure, used to fading behind the words of others and who, caught up in the upheavals of recent history, will have to leave his reserve. Leaving his peaceful Australian life, Sami returns to Syria in search of his brother, a political activist arrested by the Assad regime during a peaceful demonstration. The trip will be the occasion of an examination of conscience which plunges him in the middle of his family remained on the spot.

Raw realism

Between dissent and resignation, The translator captures without judgment all possible attitudes in the face of government oppression, and chooses to observe how successive political upheavals act on the private sphere and atomize families.

Far from being confined to a purely intimate treatment, the staging is crudely realistic in terms of the treatment of the Syrian regime’s abuses, also documenting the way in which the demonstrators made use of new technologies and encountered indifference. of the international community. The translator strikes the right balance between a truthful approach and the demands of the thriller, until its slightly artificial conclusion, subject to the requirement to bring the script back on its feet.

Franco-Syrian film by Rana Kazkaz and Anas Khalaf. With Ziad Bakri, Yumna Marwan, David Field (1 h 45).

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