Watani My Homeland (korte versie)

2017, 51 minutes

Touching documentary in which we perceive war through the eyes of children, being forced to flee and having to rebuild an existence in a new country. A harrowing experience due to the devastating effect of war and violence, but also disarming and hopeful due to the resilience of the children.

Despite the war in Syria, a father in Aleppo decides not to flee, but to remain in his homeland with his wife and four young children and to fight for a better existence. For the children, war has become the default: they help their father assemble homemade bombs and even play ‘war games’. Everything changes when their father is taken by IS one day and their mother decides that it is time to leave. Together with their mother, the children escape Syria through Istanbul to Germany, where they eventually end up in the town of Goslar.

The children soon adapt and seem to enjoy their new home, but the mother has a tough time. She misses her husband, and it is hard for her to get used to the new culture. Meanwhile, the family eagerly awaits news about their father, but they never hear anything.

Filmmaker Marcel Mettelsiefens filmed the family for three years and published a short version of the film in 2016.



Migration and refugees, War and armed conflict
Suitable for
havo/vwo - bovenbouw
mbo - niveau 1 & 2
mbo - niveau 3 & 4
vmbo t - leerjaar 3 & 4
Marcel Mettelsiefen
Country of production
United Kingdom, Germany
51 minutes
Age rating
6 geweld