A chase, footsteps closing in; as you approach your house, it moves further away. This is a recurring nightmare, shared by many Syrians who have fled their homeland. At night they find themselves back in their hometowns, running, chased by invisible men. They’re looking for a safe place that they can never reach. BACK dives into this nightmare to examine where it stems from. Did the trauma start at the protests against Bashar al-Assad, like it did for director Yazan Rabee? Or do we have to go back further, to the terror during the reign of Bashar’s father, Hafez al-Assad? The result is an opressive visual essay about mortal agony and trauma.
This short film has been part of the programme Shorts: Facing the Past at the Movies that Matter Festival 2023.