Holding returned Jihadists to account demands looking at both sides of the story says Serhat Caradee, writer/director of ‘A Lion Returns’

Writer/director Serhat Caradee: “Pursuing violence to achieve peace is not a way to go.”

The story of a terrorist who returns from Syria seeking re-admittance to the family his actions have shamed makes for one of the most powerful Australian films in recent years.

A Lion Returns is a heated drama that does not pull its punches. To describe one of its central themes bluntly, it is as pro-Muslim as it is anti-Jihad.

That’s a reading of A Lion Returns writer/director Serhat Caradee heartily agrees with.

While in Melbourne for a special screening of the movie, the Sydney-based filmmaker took some time for a sit-down to discuss why he made A Lion Returns, what his intentions are and the surprising effect the film has been having on some audiences.

Made on a minuscule budget, much of which was crowd-funded, A Lion Returns was shot in 10 days from a screenplay Caradee had spent about two years researching and writing.

It is, by any fair account, precisely the type of contemporary, confronting, issue-based film Australia should be making.

Alas, much like Cedar Boys, A Lion Returns is saddled with the problem of trying to connect with audiences without the benefit of a marketing budget – an issue that has dogged too many fine Australian films for too long.

Caradee addresses this point head-on and offers a solution alongside the insights into his motives for making A Lion Returns. The interview took place on Wednesday 2 December, 2020.

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