“Scenes… tap veins of adrenaline which Hollywood blockbusters can only dream of finding… a sober, sobering bulletin of unambiguous intention and undeniable power.” — Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter
Return to Homs premieres Monday, July 20, 2015, at 10 PM on PBS stations.
War changes people, including Abdul Basset Saroot, once the teenage goalkeeper of the Syrian national soccer team, who morphed into a peaceful advocate of Arab Spring reforms and then into an armed opponent of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime ready to be martyred for his cause.
Return to Homs chronicles Basset’s transformation and heroic struggle to save civilians in his hometown of Homs from annihilation. An underdog winner of Sundance’s 2014 World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary as well as the recipient of the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award, the movie captures the early promise of the Arab Spring and the brutal urban combat that followed. Directed by Talal Derki, the heart-stopping and often wrenching film has been compared to Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 classic, The Battle of Algiers.
“The crisis changed each and every one of us,” said filmmaker Talal Derki. “The challenges changed us, but mostly it was death. Death left its mark on every one of us: We all changed because of the increasing violence, the loss of people close to us, the injustice, the fragmentation. However, Abdul Basset was strong and very solid; he was and still is persistent.”
Visit the POV companion site for Return to Homs to watch the full film online for free for a limited time following the broadcast (starting July 21, 2015), find out what’s happened since the cameras stopped rolling, and download a discussion guide and other viewing resources. Share your thoughts and ask questions by using the hashtag #WebJunkie.