The Way Home
Directed by: Wael Kadlo
When filmmaker Wael Kadlo picks up his mother from the airport in Beirut, it seems like a rather warm family visit. But Kadlo, who was born in Damascus in 1980, has some questions he needs to ask her. His parents divorced when he was a toddler and he grew up with his grandmother. He didn’t see much of them after that. Kadlo’s painful tale comes out while he and his mother are cleaning green beans together. When she asks him if he calls his grandmother “mother,” her slightly accusatory tone speaks volumes. It turns out that she’s not the only member of the family who neglected Kadlo’s needs as a child. When he became seriously ill as a teenager, the parental conflicts resurfaced in the face of the difficult situation at hand. Kadlo gets his parents to recount his history to him in chronological order—from their perspective. He asks questions, and abstains from reproaches. Their stories are intertwined with scenes of places from Kadlo’s youth that were of vital importance to him, and later became the venue for civil protests during the Syrian crisis. His mother has her opinions on that subject as well.