RONAN TYNAN – Producer/Director – ‘Syria – The Impossible Revolution’
Could not think of a better person than photographer Paul Conroy to launch our documentary ‘Syria – The Impossible Revolution’ because he was wounded in a brutal attack on the press centre he was working from in Baba Amr, Homs in 2012. A targeted artillery barrage in which his colleagues Sunday Times’ war correspondent Marie Colvin and French Photographer Remi Ochlik were killed because the Assad regime, as documents that have come to light show, wanted journalists covering indiscriminate civilian slaughter stopped. The regime succeeded beyond its wildest dreams because after these murders the major networks effectively withdrew and the phrase “could not be independently verified” or similar words became common discounting the incredible courage of local Syrian media workers risking their lives to report on what often appears like a brutal war against civilians.
Paul Conroy was seriously wounded in an attack designed not just to intimate the media, but to erase Western media coverage from the frontline in a conflict in which civilians have paid, and continue to pay a terrible price.
But why does there appear to be such little outrage at the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, an apparent lack of interest and concern even as the numbers now dead exceed more than 500,000 by some estimates. Worse still against a background where half the population have fled their homes and five million are now refugees outside the country?
ISIS or Daesh certainly helped Assad to cover up his relentless repression as they sought publicity for their crimes against journalists, and anyone deemed an “apostate”, distracting from his regime’s industrial scale repression. All of which only serves to underline that Syrians who risked their lives in 2011 taking to the streets to peacefully protest and demand an end to brutal dictatorship and some form of democracy ultimately still find themselves often caught between fascists with beards and fascists in suits? In that context, I am constantly haunted by Amnesty’s description of the regime’s Saydnaya prison as ‘a human slaughterhouse’ where thousands have disappeared and many tortured to death.
Three years in the making this feature length documentary offers unique insights into the roots of the Syrian Revolution and how what began as a peaceful uprising turned into a very brutal conflict as the Assad regime cracked down.
‘Syria – The Impossible Revolution,’ a film by Anne daly and Ronan Tynan, seeks to unravel the roots and ‘complexities’ of the bloodiest conflict in the Middle East as well as the politics of the Western response. It also examines why some elements on the Left are on the same page as the extreme Right defending the Assad regime against “US imperialism” apparently oblivious to the role of Iran and especially Russia and her indiscriminate bombing of civilians as well as hospitals which many charge are warcrimes?
The film traces the roots of the Syrian revolution through the regime of Assad’s father up to the fall of Aleppo. Using extensive archive and interviews with a wide range of people directly involved as well as experts on the region, the documentary seeks to offer some understanding about a conflict that has plumbed new depths in terms of the toll it has extracted on civilians. Some suggest more than five hundred thousand are already dead, half the population have fled their homes and five millions are now refugees in Europe and neighbouring countries with little prospect of returning any time soon.
‘Syria – The Impossible Revolution’ was made by Esperanza Productions co founded by award winning filmmakers Anne Daly and Ronan L Tynan.