Dugma; this is the button you press before you send yourself to martyrdom. Dugma – The Button is a powerful and eye-opening documentary about a small group of Islamic fighters who have pledged themselves to martyrdom as they wait and prepare for their final mission. Featuring a British outsider and a Saudi who loves fried chicken, Dugma looks at the Syrian conflict from of the point of view of those who’ve chosen to give their lives for their ‘righteous cause’.
If there is direction Dugma it isn’t obvious. Only in very rare moments do we see the camera man lead the questions directly. This leads to an incredibly powerful form of story-telling that really feels like the diaries and tales of those involved. Never questioning these men on their task or their belief, their actions are never celebrated or condemned and for this I have to credit Paul Salahadin Refsdal and his team. The viewer themselves are truly allowed to form their own opinion of what we see. Not only this, but by not only focusing on their task at hand, but also both their personal life and their social life you really get a sense of the their lives and personalities as they wait for their final task.
Refsdal’s documentary is also crafted and directed wonderfully. With a mixture of picturesque landscape, music, singing and joy as well as sombre silent moments, at just under an hour Dugma is well-paced and thoughtful. It rarely gets boring despite having some slower moments and although viewers not interested in the topic or with strong views might shy away, Dugma is a MUST WATCH for those interested to learn more in the Syrian conflict. I would recommend this documentary to anyone.
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