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Of Fathers and Sons

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  • US Trailer

Movie Info & Cast


After his Sundance award-winning documentary Return to Homs, Talal Derki returned to his homeland where he gained the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years. His camera focuses mainly on the children, providing an extremely rare insight into what it means to grow up with a father whose only dream is to establish an Islamic Caliphate. Osama (13) and his brother Ayman (12) are in the center of the story. They both love and admire their father and obey his words, but while Osama seems to follow the path of Jihad, Ayman wants to go back to school. The film captures the moment when the children have to let go of their youth and are finally turned into Jihadi fighters. No matter how close the war comes—one thing they have already learned: they must not cry.


  • Abu Osama
  • Ayman Osama
  • Osama Osama

Atom User Reviews

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Nov 23, 2018

Watching young men become militarized is one of those gut-churning documentary topics. And yet the main subject of Of Fathers and Sons would argue that this is the only path to freedom and to happiness. The best parts of Talal Derki’s award-winning film not only seek to understand that but to reason with it.

Metacritic review by Brian Tallerico
Brian Tallerico
Nov 15, 2018

An admirably audacious feat of documentarian access, Of Fathers and Sons is of obvious topical and anthropological interest as a glimpse into the gradual radicalization of young males and the deep community ties which underpin the process.

Metacritic review by Neil Young
Neil Young
The Hollywood Reporter
Nov 4, 2018

The film's verité approach risks humanizing Abu Osama, but we eventually gain a complex understanding of the banality of his evil.

Metacritic review by Derek Smith
Derek Smith
Slant Magazine