‘Of Fathers and Sons’ Director Pretended to Be an Extremist During Two-Year Production

Oscar-nominated Talal Derki tells TheWrap he hopes his film can expose the toxic power of men in the war-torn Middle East

To make his Oscar-nominated documentary “Of Fathers and Sons,” director Talal Derki lived with Syrian extremists and acted like an Al-Qaeda sympathizer for two and a half years. If Derki wanted to expose the toxic patriarchy in a war-torn Middle East, he either had to pull the best acting performance of his life, or risk losing his life altogether.

“Even before the cameras started, I was playing a role,” Derki told TheWrap Editor in Chief Sharon Waxman. “This is a war on ideology, and the only way to fight it is to understand.”

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