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“The Translator”: two political refugees denounce the violent Syrian repression in a hard-hitting thriller


Co-directors of the disturbing short film Mare Nostrum, Rana Kazkaz and Anas Khalaf (who participated in the Legends office) repeat in a first feature where they deal with the political repression of the Syrian regime. On the screens Wednesday, October 13, The translator deals with a subject never before seen in the cinema, carried out like a breathless thriller.

In 1980, Sami and his brother Lyad witness the arrest of their father who called for the end of the Afez al-Assad regime during a peaceful demonstration. In 2011, under the presidency of Bashar al-Assad, Sami, now an Australian resident, learns that his brother is imprisoned in Syrian jails, following the demonstrations of the “Arab Spring. He will return illegally to Syria to do everything to free Lyad. , risking his life.

On a subject a priori simple, but complex because of the context, Rana Kazkaz and Anas Khalaf exploit this plot, worthy of a B series, to make a great political film. Going back to 1980, then to 2021, they recall that Damascus still practices violent repression even today, to the greatest deafness of the international community. In fact, for ten years, nothing has changed.

The sub-plot which sees Sami, translator for the press, committing a slip interpreted by Damascus as offensive to Bashar al-Assad, enriches the drama with an additional charge. The action is relaunched, without ever neglecting the emotion and the suspense, while keeping the course of a severe criticism of the Syrian regime.

"The translator"by Rana Kazkaz and Anas Khalaf (2021).  (GEORGES FILMS)

This auteur film that flirts with genre cinema is confined, however, to the exposition of the facts, to the detriment of a more elaborate staging. But this bias, close to reporting, suits the subject. It remains above all informative, drawing on first-hand sources. Uncompromising, courageous and efficient.

Poster of "The translator" by Rana Kazkaz and Anas Khalaf (2021).  (ALBA FILMS)

Kind : Drama / Thriller
Directors : Rana Kazkaz, Anas Khalaf
Actors : Ziad Bakri, Yumna Marwan, David Field
Country : Syria / France / Switzerland / Belgium Qatar
Duration : 1h45
Exit : October 13, 2021
Distributer : Alba Films

Synopsis : In 2000, Sami was the translator for the Syrian Olympic team in Sydney. A slip of the tongue during the translation forced him to stay in Australia, where he was granted political refugee status. In 2011, the Syrian revolution broke out and Sami’s brother was arrested during a peaceful demonstration. Despite the dangers he decides to risk everything and return to Syria to go free him.



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