In 1970, Omar Amiralay made this short documentary Film Essay on the Euphrates Dam in praise of the ruling Baath party's project to construct an impressive system of dams. Today, after fatal construction flaws have been discovered, his controversial film explores the metaphorical implications of such weakness. Without commentary or criticism, Amiralay's film exposes Baath party propaganda and its debilitating effects on the people of al-Mashi village, 250 miles northeast of Damascus. The camera moves slowly from students to teachers to government officials, with everyone reciting the exact same praises for the president and slogans glorifying the Baath party. The film is the harshest indictment yet of the regime, portraying the devastating effects of 35 years of rigid Baath party rule on Syrian society.
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