Roads of Ithriyah
Ahmad (Shayan Bayat), a Syrian militant, wakes up with a concussion and realizes he can't recall what side of the war he was fighting for. As he is escorted back to the fight by a mysterious soldier (Bahram Heidari, voiced by Garry Chalk), memories of his mother Atifah (Mitra Lohrasb) and sister Safiyyah (Priya M. Kooner) begin to piece together the reasons he picked up arms.
THE INDEPENDENT CRITIC (Richard Propes, Dec 4, 2022)
“(...)Badillo searches for and finds Ahmad's rich humanity, a journey made even more vivid thanks to the tremendously deep and soulful performance by Shayan Bayat.(...) Beautifully lensed by Jay Kamal with the Red Epic with a British Columbia desert filling in for the Middle East, Roads of Ithriyah is an engaging and thoughtful motion picture that picked up several prizes (...) With dignity and sensitivity, Javier Badillo has crafted an engaging, thoughtful motion picture."
EYE FOR FILM (Jennie Kermode, Sept 21, 2022)
“The language of scents is used effectively to remind viewers that even at a more primitive level, there are choices, different ways of experiencing and reacting to the world. (...) Made over a six year period on a shoestring budget, this is an impressive piece of work – an ambitious effort to take on big issues, and one which holds its own alongside much bigger productions on similar themes."
FILM THREAT (Alan Ng, Feb 7, 2022)
“(...)Roads of Ithriyah is not your typical war tale. There’s a poetic nature to Ahmad’s journey. As he struggles to piece his life together, Ahmad is thrown back and forth between three timelines.(...) [It] is not the story of a particular battle. No guns are fired, and the violence of war is shown through flashbacks or off-camera. What Badillo does is stripped away the title of “soldier,” “militant,” and “refugee” and present Ahmad’s humanity.(...)"
REVIEWS (Amazon Prime US)
“I am in the middle of watching it again, and it is just as mesmerizing as it was the first time.... very skillfully crafted with beauty and sensitivity" Becky R.
"Memento meets Lone Survivor.” - Mara J.
“Beautiful cinematography and overall an excellent film.” - Lauren
“Interesting and thought provoking watch. Enjoyed it.” - AT
“Good story line and it feels like you are there.” Jamie K.
REVIEWS (World Premiere, MENA Film Festival, Nov 24, 2021)
“Roads of Ithriyah is a transformation in the discussion of war and also in storytelling: that smooth, harmonious integration of visual art, poetry, stream of consciousness, and time/geographical existence. It takes real skill to tackle deep philosophical questions with such minimalism. Shayan’s performance was phenomenal. Congratulations on the premiere of this gem.” – Aixa K.
“It lingered with me - and continued to linger - two days later.” – Christie M.
“The photography was magnificent and there were lots of lovely details (like the fact that our protagonist was in his military wear in the domestic scenes!). Terrence Malick is my favorite director (auteur) at the moment, so you'll guess that I loved the voice-over and the poetic feeling.” – Kari T.
“Inspiring and illuminating” – John L.