ON HER SHOULDERS Unclassified 18+
Winner of the US Documentary Directing Award at Sundance, On Her Shoulders offers a compelling, compassionate insight into the human toll of activism.
Having survived imprisonment by ISIS as a sex slave and seeing her family and village slaughtered, Nadia Murad became the first UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. The mantle places her in a uniquely uncomfortable position as she finds herself a committed if reluctant activist for her community – the Yazidis of northern Iraq. Because despite a Nobel Peace Prize nomination and legal representation by Amal Clooney, gaining recognition for her people’s ongoing genocide and enslavement means reliving her trauma over and over for an audience asking the same questions.
Nadia’s dignity is matched by documentarian Alexandria Bombach’s technical elegance. Devoid of the horrific imagery typical of refugee stories, On Her Shoulders instead shows us the determined resilience required to keep a humanitarian story on the world’s radar, let alone effect change.
"By exposing the ways public institutions and the media demand an explicit performance of suffering by human-rights spokespeople, Bombach shows that Murad’s nightmare will never end. It’s this understanding, so rarely addressed or even noticed in most portraits of refugees, that makes Bombach’s film essential viewing." – Variety
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