In Syria [2018] ★★★½

 “In Syria” is a devastating drama that further reaffirms the fact that Diamand Bou Abboud is one of the best Lebanese actresses in the industry. Belgian director Philippe Van Leeuw shot the entire film in an apartment building to depict the lives of a group of Syrian people who try their very best to survive, while the war rages outside. Everything about this situation is so vividly depicted, and so intense, that it holds you spellbound for 90 minutes. Something crucial happens early on (and I will not reveal it), but like any good drama, matters of conscience and ethics come into play, and that’s what makes “In Syria” so relatable, and so difficult to watch at times. The acting is terrific (especially Bou Abboud and Hiam Abbas who steal every scene they appear in), the camerawork almost invisible, adding to a feeling that everything happening in front of us is real, and we’re simply watching life unfold. And just like real life, what happens during the course of the film is almost impossible to predict. “In Syria” is a tense drama, brilliantly acted, and not to be missed. It hits hard.

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