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In writer-director Philippe Van Leeuw's Arabic-language drama "In Syria," an apartment in contemporary Damascus becomes the site of two families' day-to-day struggle for survival.More recently, "Insyriated" (the film's original title) took the best picture prize at the Magritte Awards – the Belgian answer to France's Cesar, launched in 2011 .The film opens with Oum Yazan trying to maintain some sense of normalcy for her three children and father-in-law (Mohsen Abbas), despite the sniper laying in wait outside, trapping them in the building.The tension Van Leeuw brings to his drama is almost nerve-wracking and the score plays little or no role in achieving this atmosphere.While the female leads are both experienced actors, the balance of the cast are nonprofessional actors from the Syrian refugee community.Van Leeuw said authenticity was very important in making this film, so much so that when doing so he consulted Syrian filmmakers Hala Mohammad and Meyar Al Roumi.Though Van Leeuw doesn't speak Arabic and wrote the script in English, he found that the language barrier did not impede his directing or confuse the actors."In Syria" is screening in Beirut cinemas.
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