The Return to Homs

The Return to Homs

Promotional poster
Directed by Talal Derki
Produced by Orwa Nyrabia
Hans Robert Eisenhauer
Diana El Jeiroudi
Written by Talal Derki
Cinematography Talal Derki
Ossama al Homsi
Kahtan Hassoun
Orwa Nyrabia
Edited by Anne Fabini
Proaction Film
Ventana Films
Distributed by Journeyman Pictures
Release dates
Running time
80 minutes
Country Syria
Language Arabic

The Return to Homs is a 2013 Syrian-German documentary film written and directed by Talal Derki.[1][2] It is produced by Orwa Nyrabia and Hans Robert Eisenhauer while Diana El Jeiroudi served as the associate producer.[3] The film premiered in-competition at the 2013 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam on November 20, 2013, as the opening film of the festival.[4][5]

The film also premiered in-competition in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2014.[6] It won the Grand Jury Prize award at the festival.[7][8]

After its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Journeyman Pictures acquired the worldwide distribution rights of the film. The film's TV rights has been previously sold to ARTE for France and Germany, NHK for Japan, RTS for Switzerland, SVT for Sweden, and Radio Canada.[9][10]

It also served as the closing film at 2014 Human Rights Film Festival on March 28, 2014.[11][12]


In the middle of Syrian Civil War, the film follows, 19-year-old national football team goalkeeper, Abdul Baset Al-Sarout and 24-year-old Ossama, his media activist and journalist friend, their daily life in the city of Homs which has become a bombed-out ghost town by Syrian Army on Syria's leader Bashar al-Assad orders. Their homes, lives and dreams destroyed and in order to gain freedom, they are forced to change course Baset and Ossama turned from peaceful protesters into rebel insurgents.


The Return to Homs won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

The Return to Homs received mostly positive reviews upon its premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Peter Debruge of Variety, said in his review that "Talal Derki’s “Return to Homs” represents a remarkable achievement in immersive conflict-zone filmmaking, fearlessly taking auds to the front lines of the Syrian civil war and embedding them alongside soccer star turned resistance leader Abdul Baset Al-Sarout, a charismatic nonviolent protestor pushed into taking up arms against the oppressive regime."[13]

Neil Young in his review for The Hollywood Reporter called the film "An unflinching, rousing piece of civil-war reportage, literally dispatched from the conflict's front lines."[14]

Eric Kohn from Indiewire praised the film by saying that ""Return to Homs" reveals a far more frenzied, visceral struggle that a handful of driven warriors continue to endure at all costs. With its climactic freeze frame, Derki captures the men's uneasy combination of desperation and triumph in a single image: With nowhere left to go, they still push ahead."[15]

While, Dan Fienberg of HitFix grade the film B+ and said that "There are shades of Kubrick to the long, uninterrupted shots that take us through bombed out buildings, a labyrinth of ruins that still have poignant ties to our heroes."[16]


Year Award Category Recipient Result
2013 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary Talal Derki Nominated[4]
2014 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary Talal Derki Won[7][8]
San Francisco International Film Festival Golden Gate Award - Best Documentary Feature Talal Derki Nominated
Golden Gate Award - Special Jury Recognition Talal Derki Won[17]
Kraków Film Festival Cracow Students Jury Award - Documentary Competition Talal Derki Won[18]
Silver Horn - Best Feature-Length Documentary Talal Derki Won[18]


  1. "Return to Homs: Sundance 2014 – first look review". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  2. "Amid the Debris of Homs, a Guerrilla Is Born". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  3. "Crew of 'Return to Homs'". Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  4. 1 2 "15 October: IDFA opens with Syrian documentary Return to Homs". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  5. "Hivos partner wins at Sundance Film Festival with 'Return to Homs'". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  6. "Sundance 2014: World Cinema Documentary Competition". Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  7. 1 2 "Sundance: 'Whiplash' & 'Rich Hill' Win Grand Jury Awards; Dramatic Directing Goes To Cutter Hodierne For 'Fishing Without Nets'". Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  8. 1 2 "'Whiplash' Owns the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Awards Netting Two Top Prizes". Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  9. "Exclusive: Journeyman Pictures picks up "Return to Homs"". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  10. "Journeyman takes Return to Homs". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  11. "HRWFF 2014: Return To Homs UK Premiere & Closing Film". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  12. "Return to Homs". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  13. "Film Review: 'Return to Homs'". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  14. "Return To Homs: IDFA Review". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  15. "Review: Groundbreaking Perspective of Syrian Civil War Reveals Dire Situation In IDFA Opener 'Return to Homs'". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  16. "Sundance review roundup from The Fien Print". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  17. "57TH SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS". Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  18. 1 2 "The Winners of the 54th Krakow Film Festival". Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
Preceded by
A River Changes Course
Sundance Grand Jury Prize: World Cinema Documentary
Succeeded by
The Russian Woodpecker
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/26/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.