The reality of life as a civilian in modern-day Damascus is explored in gripping and visceral detail in Philippe Van Leeuw’s Insyriated, winner of the Panorama Audience Award at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival. Trapped inside her own home as the city around her is reduced to rubble, mother of three Oum Yazan (Hiam Abbass) takes comfort in the familiarity of household routines. The streets below are a war zone, with a barricaded doorway providing the only protection from the threat of deadly bombs and sniper fire. One day, an ominous knock on the door signals that their time in hiding is almost up. And when the world outside finally bursts in, Oum Yazan is forced to make a terrible sacrifice in order to protect those she loves. Executed with gut-punch realism and formal flair, this chilling chamber piece digs deep into the headlines to expose the raw human experiences beneath. Tense and immersive, it is a powerful and timely portrait of the everyday fight for survival in war-torn Syria.


Philippe Van Leeuw


DVD catalogue number: ART835DVD


Winner of the 2017 Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival

Out now on DVD & on demand

GENRE: Drama, War


DIRECTOR: Philippe Van Leeuw


COUNTRIES: France, Belgium


Winner of the 2017 Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival




  • “A powerful piece of theatre-cinema”

    Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

  • “Abbass delivers an edge-of-seat performance”

    Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

  • “A well-crafted and, at this moment in history, very necessary film that treats a difficult subject with sensitivity”

    Vicky Munro, The Upcoming

  • “Couldn’t be more timely... Abbass offers one of her most powerful performances to date”

    Jonathan Romney, Screen

  • “A serious and searing piece of work”

    Ed Potton, The Times

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