The War On My Phone

DW Transtel | 864919
2 x 30 min

“I’m in Europe and safe, but cannot escape the war. Every day it is here on my mobile phone.” Amjad, Omar and others may now be living in Europe but they are not entirely present in their new homes. Every day they receive messages and videos from relatives and friends: shelling in Idlib, scenes from inside a Syrian jail and everyday life in an area controlled by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).

These are not the anonymous images we see on news broadcasts, but very personal accounts from people who have names and faces, with their own stories and destinies. The videos sent by phone are not professional productions; they are blurred, shaky and noisy, but they are authentic and they confront us with the daily experience of war – unofficial, personal war.

The images intrude on the secure world of Europe, leaving the protagonists torn between their often idyllic new surroundings and the home and people they have left behind. Videos of bombardments or prisons burst into the picture-postcard backdrops of the Münsterland or Saarbrücken in Germany. ISIS propaganda films pop up in a café. The war is suddenly close – with a face and a voice. These images and the stories are all the more moving because they reach us directly, without any professional remove. They are images of war in the digital age, and this is a film about a time in which distant realities are brought close every minute of the day – in this case painfully close.

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