The War on My Phone

The War on My Phone

Documentary Film
90 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Holger Preuße, Kristian Kähler
Elke Sasse
Marcus Zahn
Jakob Stark, Melina Kenjami, Dieter Stürmer
Janine Dauterich
Pascal Capitolin
The towns of Ahrweiler and Idlib, Saarbrücken and Deir ez-Zor, Lausanne and Harim are connected and separated by mobile phone screens. As four refugees from Syria in European exile are sitting in a café, waiting on the platform for the next train or chugging across the idyllic Lake Geneva on a boat, they are communicating by phone with family members, friends and fellow activists in the war zone. They become eyewitnesses of the bombing of their hometown, skype with unlawfully detained prisoners who are gradually losing courage, get desperate text messages about yet another failed escape or view Islamist propaganda videos as part of their intelligence work. “Only a small part of us is here in Germany,” media activist Zana, who fled from Aleppo, explains.

“The War on My Phone” shows the role played by mobile phones as an unofficial live news channel as well as the omnipresence of war in exile. Being torn between these almost incompatible realities is something that has to be borne. If for once the tomatoes on both sides of the screen are the same shade of red it’s a rare moment of shared experience.

Esther Buss

Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize