Since 2011 when the humanitarian crisis in Syria began, several million people have been forced to flee from their homes, many of whom are children and minors. Along the way, many experience physical harm, become separated from their family members, and have their childhoods violently taken away; yet every time, they find the strength to stand up once again to continue their journey to safety. From their flight from Syria and life in refugee camps in the Middle East, through to their arrival into the ‘promised land’ of Europe, “Born in Syria” follows seven young children in their long and emotional journey to where they see hope.
Four women fled from different parts of Africa to Australia in order to escape sexual violence and abuse; Aminata who was used as a sex slave by the rebels; Yordanos who was abandoned by her parents as a small child, and has very little memories from her childhood. They find a safe haven in Australia, but still hold their pain silently within them, until one day they decide to join a theater group and speak out. Heart-rending, heartfelt and ultimately uplifting, the film offers a message of hope and support for the women and children who have suffered around the world, whether in the context of war, or in a domestic situation.
“Cries from Syria” is a searing, comprehensive account of a brutal five-year conflict from the inside out, drawing on hundreds of hours of war footage from Syrian activists and citizen journalists, as well as testimony from child protestors, leaders of the revolution, human rights defenders, ordinary citizens, and high-ranking army generals who defected from the government. Their collective stories are a cry for attention and help from a world that understands little of their reality nor agrees on what to do about it.
It all started with a school exercise book. Its pages were checkered with the testimonies of 300 Central African women, girls and men; a woman raising a baby she had conceived as a result of sexual violence; a young girl with a permanent disability from being shot in her knee; and while attempting to make the best of their difficult daily lives, the next war breaks out. Filmed over seven years, the film bears witness to the physical and psychological scars people must live with, and the collapse of order and civilization in a country torn apart by civil war and coup d’états.
With the Syrian conflict now in its seventh year, millions of people continue to be displaced. “After Spring” follows life in Zaatari refugee camp – the largest refugee camp of Syrian refugees – from the eyes of refugee families aid workers and volunteers; a man who owns a small bakery, families celebrating their child’s birth, and aid workers teaching taekwondo to refugee children and youths… With no end in sight for the conflict nor for this refugee crisis, people are faced with the tough reality of having to rebuild their lives in a place that was never meant to be permanent.