2017 Sundance Docs in Focus: CRIES FROM SYRIA

cries from syriaCRIES FROM SYRIA
Evgeny Afineevsky presents an overarching account of the impact of Syria’s civil war on its people.

Festival Section:
Documentary Premieres

Sundance Program Description:

A strikingly intense portrayal of a dire situation, CRIES FROM SYRIA serves as a potent record of the events that have transpired there since 2011. Inspired by the Arab Spring, Syrians were hopeful they could end their country’s 40-year reign of brutal dictatorship. Instead, their efforts yielded horrific consequences as the government swiftly punished those in opposition, demonstrating their ruthlessness by targeting and torturing children. As peaceful protests were held, the government retaliated with extreme force, resulting in a full-blown civil war. From cutting off the food supply to the use of chemical weapons and targeted airstrikes on hospitals and schools, those fighting for freedom have endured a grave humanitarian crisis.

Incorporating gripping firsthand accounts from activists, child protesters, and a former army general who joined the uprising, director Evgeny Afineevsky has created a powerful and immediate depiction of the recent and current situation in Syria. This compelling documentary bears witness to the resiliency of the people in the wake of their exposure to unthinkable crimes against humanity.

Some Background:


  • Den Tolmor
    Tolmor has produced all of Afineevsky’s documentaries.

  • Aaron I Butler
    Past Sundance docs:

    CRIME AFTER CRIME (2011, consulting editor)

    Butler also serves as the film’s editor. He previously edited Sundance narrative I AM MICHAEL (2015).


  • Shahida Tulaganova, Sergei Zhuravsky, and Jawad Sharbaji
    Tulaganova is a journalist and news producer. Zhuravsky worked on Afineevsky’s most recent films. Sharbaji is editor-in-chief of Enab Baladi, a Syrian revolutionary newspaper founded in 2011. This marks the first Sundance credit for each.

Executive Producers:

Senior Producer:


  • Aaron I Butler
    See above.

Why You Should Watch:
As he did in WINTER ON FIRE, Afineevsky profiles frontline activists, protestors, and other revolutionaries, locked in a deadly standoff with the repressive Syrian regime for the future of their nation. The film provides a stark look at the experience of civil war and the lives it has upended. The doc is one of three at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival – together with LAST MEN IN ALEPPO and CITY OF GHOSTS – offering multiple perspectives on the Syrian civil war.

More Info:

For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.

To experience the festival through the eyes of this year’s filmmakers, follow my Sundance 2017 Twitter list.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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