Besieged Homs: We Don’t Want Anything, We Just Want You to know
“We Don’t Want Anything, We Just Want You to Know” is the name of a film produced in a neighborhood of Homs that has been under blockade for more than a year, and that has consistently been subject to aerial, tank and artillery shelling by regime troops.
At first glance, the film may seem like another cry from the starving people of besieged Homs to the world. The viewer, however, will find that these people are able to remain steadfast and maintain their sense of sarcasm and humor in the face of death.
Syria Untold was interested in discovering the creative mind behind the film, and learned that it was the doing of one young men. The idea came to him, so he grabbed his camera, and shot, produced and edited it all on his own.
The producer of the film is unique in that he shied away from speaking about himself, and focused on the film and its characters instead. Why? Because the message is the story; the story of poor people, women and children standing strong in the face of dictatorship. The idea came to him “after witnessing the harsh reality of revolutionary media,” he said. “That includes the way people beg for humanitarian aid from the Saudi monarchy, and humiliate themselves by putting on a show of religion in order to get funding.” He added that one of the goals of the film is to say that the Syrian people are not beggars. As one of the women featured in the film said, “My son who was killed by regime forces used to say, ‘I’d rather die here in dignity than leave.’”
“I chose the characters in the film impulsively, while ensuring that I included people of every group: elderly men, little boys, little girls, young men who left their education and picked up arms, children who have lost everything and needy mothers,” the producer said about how he decided who to feature in his film.
Despite the blockade imposed on Homs, and despite the ongoing bombardment, the people agreed to be featured in the film without fear, and chose to show their faces despite the fact that most people remaining in besieged Homs are wanted by the Assad regime. They wanted to deliver a message to the outside world: “Here, we stand in the face of death, while you don’t have the courage to return to your home.” The film implicitly calls on Syrians to return to the country. For example, one little girl said, “Why did you leave us here and go? Why did you forget us?”
The main goal of the film, which shows harsh living conditions amid a severe blockade, is to “deliver the reality on the ground with credibility, showing the faith and perseverance of the residents of the area.”
A Facebook page named after the film has the same goal. The page description reads, “We are a group of young activists who are trying to portray the reality of things, and trying to clarify issues being overlooked in the battle between good and evil.”
Despite the bleak conditions under which the film was shot, the producer was happy as he watched “children make mistakes as they spoke, trying to say everything correctly.” But at the same time, he said, “there were sad moments that cannot be forgotten, such as the young girl who was crying while I was shooting, something you can see in the film.”
The producer concluded by saying, “We are strong without support from anyone. God is with us. Homs needs no one, but everyone is in need of Homs.” He gave a special mention to the women of Homs who refused to leave even when they had the chance, and said the people of the city are writing a legendary tale of resistance. This sentiment was repeated by the elderly man featured in the film who said, “We will remain here, and we will not leave. We will die here, and we will be buried here.”
One of the girls featured in the film also symbolizes resistance. “My friends are in 8th grade now, and I’m still a 5th grade student. I’ve done nothing wrong, yet I can’t go to school like they do. But Homs is where I am from. This is my home, and I must resist. I’m saying this not because I want anything, just because I want you to know.”
date : 12/07/2013