Flood in Ba'ath Country (2003, Omar Amiralay)
In 1970, director Omar Amiralay showed his enthusiasm for President Hafez Al-Assad's efforts to modernize Syria by dedicating his first documentary to the construction of the impressive new Euphrates Dam. The dam, and others like it, was to be the pride of the Baath Party.
The collapse of the Zayzun Dam thirty years later, which killed dozens of people and ruined thousands of lives, and the revelation of an official report that had predicted the dam's fate, inspired Amiralay to make A Flood In Baath Country, which examines the flood's devastating impact on a Syrian village. With its powerful and daring critique of Syria's political regime and the tribal politics that hold it together, the film foreshadows the wave of democracy currently sweeping the Arab world, with citizens finally rising up to demand a fundamental change in their countries' leadership.
Part 1 of Contemporary Syrian Documentaries
curated by Nathalie Khankan (Near Eastern Studies)
in partnership with the Arab Film Festival
Part of "To Aleppo Gone:" Syrian Culture Today, series of programs exploring the arts in Syria, hosted by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, in conjunction with Near Eastern Studies and the Arab Film Festival.