By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik March 29, 2012 at 9:43AM
On a recent episode of "The Daily Show," there was a sketch involving the viral video hype raising awareness for the atrocities of Ugandan guerilla fighter Joseph Kony, and whether a similar hipster video could do the same for the injustices happening in Syria right now. I don't think Killer Films' Christine Vachon and Canadian filmmaker Rubba Nadda had that in mind with their new film "Inescapable," which recently wrapped shooting in South Africa. But the subject matter suggests it could help reveal life under the totalitarian regime, which has most recently massacred dozens of women and children in the Syrian city of Homs.
According to a recent story in the Globe and Mail, the film is set in January of 2011, on the eve of the Arab Spring revolution, and follows a Syrian-Canadian man, played by British actor Alexander Siddig, who returns to Damascus after 30 years ito search for his missing daughter.
Nadda, 39, who lived in Damascus for four years as a teenager, told the paper that the movie is more of a thriller than a political treatise, but would shed light on the climate of fear and repression that triggered the uprising in Syria. “For years, I’ve been trying to convince anyone who would listen about Syria,” Nadda said. “And all of a sudden, over the past year, it’s been everywhere.”
Siddig, a Sudanese-born actor who also appeared in "Syriana," said the movie would help audiences understand why Syrians rebelled against a brutal police state. “It’s riddled with danger, everywhere around you, and it’s not even facetious danger, as in most action pictures,” he said. “It’s a really palpable, suffocating danger, in the many levels of the secret service. A lie is enough to get you executed.”
According to the story, the filmmakers are also determined to rescue the stereotypes that surround Arab men in the mainstream media.
“I grew up with an amazing father, but Arab men have a very bad rap in North America,” Nadda said. “So in this movie I wanted to show a different side to the Arab man, and I think I’ve succeeded. He’s a real man. He’s got his vulnerabilities, his rage, his despair – and at the end of the day, the most important thing to him is his daughter. My father raised his three daughters to be feminists. The Arab men that I know in my life are macho, yes, but they’d also go to the ends of the earth for their daughters.”