The most valuable thing Yadan carries with him on his flight is a hard drive. It contains almost 13,000 videos recorded in 2011 and 2012 by him and other insurgents in Daraa, the “cradle” of the Syrian revolution. Eight years later, Yadan and two of his fellow travellers meet in a theatre in Paris to (re)confront the material. In the dialogue between the men and the images, a piece of the country’s history begins to take shape.
When peaceful protest turns into brutal war, a small group of civilians become the voice of Daraa. They film where there is no official coverage: at first in order to help the revolution into actual existence by their media representation, later to bear witness in an urgent plea for help to the international community. Against the human rights crimes of the government troops, against shelling and bombs – the camera is their weapon. The cinematic set-up becomes the starting point for a reflection about the meaning of images, then and now, and at the same time triggers a conversion of personal into collective memories. The protagonists’ reactions reveal how painful this process is: “Is the collection of the story worth all the violence that memory brings back?” is asked from offscreen. The film gives a decisive answer.