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A bespectacled man with thinning gray hair expertly inserts grouting between the colorful inlay of a backgammon board.These "bullet films" were shot in different places, at different times, by different people, but each shares the same aim: to represent the diversity and humanity of the Syrian people, irrespective of age or gender and political or religious denomination.It is also a nod to pioneering Russian documentary filmmaker Dziga Vertov, the self-styled "man with the camera," whose Vertov Group set out to combine art and political activism in the 1960s in much the same way Abounaddara does today.The collective is made up of volunteers, self-taught filmmakers who make quality films despite the challenges they face, among them the need for complete anonymity and a total lack of funding. The second is to immortalize the hopes and courage of those involved in the revolution, so that the films might inspire future generations around the world in the way that previous revolutions inspired the initially peaceful demonstrations in Syria.The 12-minute "Of God and Dogs," documents a Free Syrian Army fighter's harrowing confession. The camera frames his face in a prolonged close-up as he recounts how he killed an innocent man. The films' documentary aesthetic precludes voiceover narration, effacing the filmmaker from the footage while keeping the focus on the subject.
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