Boutheyna Bouslama | France, Switzerland | 2019 | 76 min. | Arabic, French spoken | English subtitles
In 2014, twenty years after they clinched their friendship with an armload of cherries during a summer holiday in Syria, Swiss-Tunisian film maker Boutheyna Bousslama sees her eerstwhile playmate in Talal Derki’s war documentary Return to Homs. Oussama, just as restlessly energetic as back then, records the revolts and Assad’s repression with his camera, until he is arrested in 2012.
Oussama’s fate stays with her; she starts a search that in the course of three years will bring her from Geneva to the Syrian border, tossing her back and forth between hope and fear. Her personal report is a means to keep alive the memory of Oussama and the 70,000 others who have “disappeared” during the civil war.