When two sisters learn that a member of their family has decided to desert the Syrian Army and join the Free Army, they must embark on a hazardous journey to Turkey, in this powerful account of contemporary Syria from filmmaker Alessio Cremonini.




Alessio Cremonini

A co-writer on Saverio Constanzo's brilliant, Palestine-set Private, which the Festival screened in 2004, Alessio Cremonini explores similar territory in this highly effective and deeply moving portrait of contemporary Syria. Proving completely adept at moving with ease from culture to culture, the Italian director has made a film that for all intents and purposes could be Syrian. The dialogue is all in Arabic, and there are no foreign characters to provide added perspectives. Border simply delivers a powerful account of what it is like to live in a country where people's lives are turned upside down every day.

Young sisters Fatima and Aya, both deeply religious, learn that Fatima's new husband has decided to desert the Syrian Army and join the Free Army, a plan that throws their lives into jeopardy. It means the sisters must flee the country immediately and entrust their safety to people they do not know, who could potentially be out to use them. Gathering their essential belongings, the women embark on a clandestine trip to Turkey, one that will prove full of peril and revelations.

Cremonini does a brilliant job of detailing their challenges, falling neither into cliché nor sentimentality. Unadorned, unaffected, his film simply lays out the facts of the sisters' trip, moving us from incident to incident, and keeping us constantly surprised by the twists that the story takes. And surprised you will be! In this chaotic world, the women must face many hazards, with rebels, traitors, and bands of armed men marauding with impunity. Border will take you into the terrifying reality of a country where civil society has been rudely displaced by civil war..



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