A Stranger Came to Town

Thomas Vroege

The complex reality cannot be reduced to a simple matter of good versus evil, especially not where the war in Syria is concerned. Four people living in Aleppo talk about their experiences and offer their perspective on the situation in this cinematographic essay on the chaos in the country.

At first, the Western media romanticized the civil war in Syria. Assad was referred to as a dictator and the rebels who opposed him were ‘freedom fighters’. In this documentary, we learn that the reality is not so simple. Four people who experienced the struggle up close and personal in Aleppo each tell their own story; each of them has their own perspective on the war.

Nahel was one of the first to organize protests, and Amed joined the Free Syrian Army because he did not want to fight in Assad’s army. Ferhad fled to Europe, where he struggled with post-traumatic stress syndrome. The only one who stayed behind, Issa, watched from his own apartment how the conflict unfolded in the streets of Aleppo. He has reservations about the Free Syrian Army, which was so widely praised in Western media.

A Stranger Came to Town has been selected for the Dutch Movies Matter competition.


Thomas Vroege
Country of production
Netherlands, The
71 minutes
Spoken language
Arabic, English
Production company
Halal Docs