Ayouni (2020)

  • Main Competition
  • 1h 15m


Bassel was a successful open source developer and hacker in Damascus. Paolo was a well-known priest based in Mar Musa monastery. Both men were active in the 2011 Syrian revolution, and witnesses to crimes before they were forcibly disappeared. This film follows these two high-profile figures of the Syrian revolution through their family members, Noura and Machi, as they search for their loved ones. Faced with the limbo of an overwhelming absence of information, hope is the only thing they have to hold on to. ‘Ayouni’ is a deeply resonant Arabic term of endearment – meaning ‘my eyes’ and understood as ‘my love’. Filmed over six years and across multiple countries in search of answers, Ayouni is an attempt to give numbers faces, to give silence a voice, and to make the invisible undeniably visible.

This film will not be available in Syria.

Competing for the RAI Film Prize and Basil Wright Film Prize

A live discussion with the filmmakers will take place on Zoom on Friday 26 March, 17:30 - 17:55 UTC. Find a link to join the live discussion here.

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Yasmin Fedda


France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, United Kingdom