16 January 2019 | d4nyll
A difficult, uncomfortable, but important film for all
Tonight I went to the Curzon Bloomsbury to watch 'On Her Shoulders', a documentary that follows the journey of Nadia Murad, a survivor of the 2014 Yazidi genocide, activist, and the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize 2018.
It's a film that I recommend you all to watch.
'On Her Shoulders' is the story about the interplay between desperation and determination. It is the story of Nadia's quiet but persistent fight for the recognition of, and justice for, herself, her family, and the Yazidis people. It's the story of a reluctant leader, who chose to shoulder this unyielding burden, to stand as a symbol of hope, when many others have abandoned theirs.
Before I watched this film, I knew a little about the Yazidis, I knew that genocides are happening around the world, even at this very moment. There's the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and the genocide in South Sudan is still ongoing. I knew all that. But these issues are always placed on the back of my mind. After all, talking and thinking about refugees, death, enslavement, and rape are very heavy and uncomfortable topics. And we tend to shy away from difficult and uncomfortable things.
Nadia's story comes from a very different (and more difficult) part of the world than we're accustomed to; and initially, it can seem very detached from our everyday lives. But by attending the screening, it forced me to confront this uncomfortable reality, and realise that someone else's reality is actually our collective reality.
The cinematography, film score and editing of the film were OK, nothing spectacular. I believe the director (Alexandria Bombach) purposefully striped everything back to not take anything away from the story. This would explain the 7.1/10 score (good, but not great) it currently has on IMDb. But you should watch it not because of how it's directed/edited, but because of the importance of the story. It's an invitation for you to spend 95 minutes to walk in her shoes and understand their struggle.
It'll help you to be more empathetic, to see everything in a broader perspective, and perhaps even inspire you to act.