As one of the most famous film and television actors in Syria, Fares Helou’s political opinions aren’t taken lightly by the Assad regime. When he stands by pro-democracy protestors in 2011, Fares makes a difference. Meanwhile, the highest-ranking officials of the dictatorial regime try to win him over with a dual strategy: first by showing him respect, and then with masked threats.
Fearing for his life and his family’s safety, Helou leaves the country. But as soon as he’s settled in Paris with his family, the pain of exile starts, along with an obsessive need to remain connected to Syria and to find a way to contribute.
For Helou, exile means that his celebrity status now only survives on the internet, through social networks. While the family tries to find its footing in a totally new space and culture, the need to remain faithful to the dream of a free and democratic Syria becomes a matter of integrity—an existential quest.
Friday 18th December 2020
Syrian filmmaker and visual artist.
Graduated in dance (Damascus) and documentary cinema (Amman), his first works mix media and formats.