Syria: Across The Lines

(Channel 4, 2013)

"Mesmerising... Simply the most powerful film to have come out of the war in Syria."

Winner of ten awards, including a BAFTA, an Emmy and a Grierson

 This multi-award winning film reveals how the once-peaceful villages in the Orontes River Valley in rural Syria were radicalised and torn apart by sectarian tension following the outbreak of the country's bitter civil war.  

Once, the fertile plains along the Orontes were a place of peaceful coexistence for Syria’s many sects and religions. But as the conflict entered its second year, the river came to mark a sectarian frontline: on one side, the rebel Free Syrian Army held ground in Sunni villages whose residents were calling for the fall of President Assad and his regime. But less than a mile away, Alawite villagers remained fiercely loyal to the government, and gladly hosted army checkpoints that daily fire shells and mortars into the Sunni villages across the valley.

With unprecedented access to both sides, I lived along this frontline for five weeks in late 2012, offering a raw and unflinching look at a nation that was breaking apart. The resulting film was hailed as one of the most important pieces of journalism to emerge from the Syrian conflict, and was the winner of ten prestigious awards, including a BAFTA, an Emmy, an RTS and a Grierson.

This film was accompanied by the online release of The Bombing of al-Bara, a narrated account of mostly unedited footage that documented the shocking aftermath of a double airstrike on a small, rural village.  

Watch the full film below.

Clip (2 mins)

Syria: Across the Lines, C4 version



"Mesmerising... simply the most powerful film to have come out of the war in Syria. There are not that many programmes on television that demand to be seen, but this is one of them." The Times

"A once-in-a-generation programme that demonstrates the full horror of the war from both sides. The most illuminating piece of journalism on the war-torn country to date - astonishing access, beautifully presented without any ego on behalf of the film-maker." Broadcast Awards jury citation

"A brave, astonishing attempt to show the real Syria.... [The film] compelled you to face the brutal truth of the civil war." Daily Telegraph

"Lambert makes [the civil war] viscerally comprehensive, while presenting the purest interpretation of 'fair and balanced' most of us are ever likely to see: He doesn't just get both sides of the story, but could have easily died in the process of getting them." Newsday

"An extraordinary achievement. I urge anybody who wonders what this war has now become, to sit down, turn off the mobile and watch." Alex Thomson, Chief Correspondent C4 news

"A particularly brave bit of film-making, deftly capturing the absurdity and the pathos of the ongoing struggle in Syria, whilst never side-stepping the horrors either." Matt Baylis, Daily Express

"A brilliant piece of reporting... a piercing portrait of a nation being torn apart." Radio Times

"Bloody, brave, and bloody brave," The Times

"Gripping, must see war footage" Sen John McCain



Emmy (Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story)

BAFTA  (Best Current Affairs programme)

Grierson Award (Best Current Affairs Documentary) 

RTS (Best International Current Affairs)

Rory Peck Award (Best Feature) 

Broadcasting Press Guild (Best Single Documentary)

David Bloom Award 2014

RTS Craft award (Best Documentary Editing)

Broadcast (Best News and Current Affairs)

AIB (Best Middle East Documentary)




BAFTA Craft (Best Photography)

Frontline Award (Best Broadcast)

Foreign Press Association (Documentary of the Year

Bulldog (Best Current Affairs documentary)