PODCAST| Matt Micucci interviews Nizam Najjar, director of the film Aleppo’s Fall.
To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture
Nizam Najjar presented his feature documentary, Aleppo’s Fall, at the 30th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Najjar is Syrian/Norwegian, and for this documentary returned to his native country to see with his own eyes why the rebels in Aleppo were failing. In this interview, we ask him about the filming of Aleppo’s Fall, and about his own reaction when he had first heard about the Arab Spring. He also tells us that while filming, the more he knew, the more he wanted to find out, and so we ask him whether it was this curiosity, this desire to know, that helped him get through terrifying moments of war that he captured in his documentary. Among other things, Najjar also tells us about an IDFA promoted idea to distribute Aleppo’s Fall not only in the Netherlands but also in Aleppo.
Aleppo’s Fall: When the Arab Spring reached Syria in 2011, Nizam Najjar, a Syrian now living in Norway, thought the rebels would quickly oust President Bashar al-Assad. But the peaceful protests were brutally suppressed, and the once united rebel movement fell apart. Najjar returns to Syria to investigate why the rebels are failing in Aleppo, the city of his birth. Embedded with the rebels and a local cameraman, he risks his life on the front. In the heat of battle, he discovers how danger comes not only from the outside but also from within, as two rebel leaders operate opposing strategies. In meetings, during a ceasefire, at a party and in the midst of fighting, it becomes only too apparent that there’s no brotherhood among the rebels. How can such a divided group defeat a leader who appears to be able to draw on inexhaustible resources from outside the country?