One family’s extraordinary story of life in the rubble of Syria and their escape to a new life, told through the eyes of four children.
“We’re here and, at any moment, the army could attack us.” - Helen, 10
In the Syrian city of Aleppo, 10 year old Helen and her siblings live and play in the ruins of their city as war rages around them.
“The other day a bomb exploded inside the warehouse down in the garden.” - Farah, 7
Along with their mother, the children have chosen to stay in the city as their father commands a group of rebels fighting against the Assad regime.
“They want to stay with their dad. I tried leaving with them for two months and I suffered a lot with them because they wanted their dad.” - Hala, mother
The camera captures life for these children, as they wait in fear at the sound of incoming artillery, how they keep up with their schoolwork, and pick their way through the shattered apartment blocks to fill in time.
“Take them inside because of the firing. Come on!” - Abu Ali, father
Filmed over three years by award winning director Marcel Mettelsiefen, this family’s story dramatically documents the price being paid by Syrians as the war continues.
“Daesh (ISIS), the ugliest word I have ever heard in my life. These people have stolen our entire lives.” - Hala
As ISIS enters the war, life becomes intolerable and their mother makes the tough decision to leave Syria, and join the millions of refugees fleeing the country.
“How do you spell Germany?” - Farah
The film chronicles their journey to safety and their grief for what they’ve left behind.
“I took a piece of my heart and put it on the door of our house for him, for daddy.” - Sara
Children on the Frontline, a film by Marcel Mettelsiefen and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 22nd August at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 23rd August at 10.00am and Wednesday 24th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST and ABC iview.