The reality of life as a civilian in modern-day Damascus is explored in gripping and visceral detail in Philippe Van Leeuw’s ‘Insyriated’, winner of the Panorama Audience Award at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival.

Trapped inside her own home as the city around her is reduced to rubble, mother of three Oum Yazan takes comfort in the familiarity of household routines. The streets below are a war zone, with a barricaded doorway providing the only protection from the threat of deadly bombs and sniper fire. One day, an ominous knock on the door signals that their time in hiding is almost up. And when the world outside finally bursts in, Oum Yazan is forced to make a terrible sacrifice in order to protect those she loves.

Executed with gut-punch realism and formal flair, this chilling chamber piece digs deep into the headlines to expose the raw human experiences beneath. Tense and immersive, it is a powerful and timely portrait of the everyday fight for survival in war-torn Syria.

★★★★ “A resonant, drum-taut drama of lives in a war-girt apartment” - Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

★★★★ “A harrowing watch with an intense final scene” - Louise Busfield, Little White Lies

★★★★ “A dignified, nerve-shredding portrait of leadership in crisis” – Ed Potton, The Times

Sight & Sound’s Film of the Month

Directed by
Runtime 83 Minutes
Release date 2017
  • Certification: 15