Remembering a young Syrian filmmaker killed in Homs
The death of Bassel Shahade, a young Syrian filmmaker who studied in the United States and returned to his country to document the rebellion, was a harsh blow to his friends, who remembered him as a passionate adventurer, The Times writes. These are a few of the films Shahade made, along with others made in commemoration.
Shahade directed this documentary, “Singing to Freedom,” which features interviews about nonviolent resistance with Syrian attorney Razan Zeitouna, political theorist Noam Chomsky and author Erica Chenoweth. It shows Syrian protesters chanting, “The people want the downfall of the regime!”
Another short film called “Saturday Morning Gift,” widely circulated after Shahade died, is based on an interview with a young boy recalling his experiences in the 2006 war in Lebanon between Hezbollah paramilitaries and Israel. The film is intimate and spare, almost dreamlike.
Shahade filmed and edited this third film, “Carrying Eid to Camps,” which shows people handing out food and toys in camps for the displaced during the Muslim holiday of Eid. When the film was created, a severe drought had plunged millions of Syrians into extreme poverty. "Thanks to everyone who contributed in carrying Eid to camps of the drought displaced people,” the video caption says.
After Shahade was killed in Homs, this tribute video surfaced, appearing to show him teaching other Syrians. Shahade came back to his country to share his skills with amateur videographers.
This last video is said to show friends of Shahade standing around his coffin with pictures of him, reciting prayers. Toward the end of the video, a group of men load the coffin onto a vehicle.
-- Alexandra Sandels in Beirut and Emily Alpert in Los Angeles
Photo: Bassel Shahade. Credit: Mohamad Khouja