Anyone with even a shred social conscience should find the comprehensive Syrian civil war documentary “Cries From Syria” a truly devastating experience. It should be required viewing for any public official involved with shaping any laws or policies regarding the fate of Syrian refugees.
Director Evgeny Afineevsky (Oscar-nominated for 2015’s “Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom”) has deftly assembled a wealth of astonishing, you-are-there footage, much of it shot by Syrian activists and ordinary citizens from early 2011, when the Arab Spring protests gave way to armed conflict, through 2016, as fighting continued with no end in sight.
BEIRUT (AP) - It has been 18 months since the body of 3-year old Aylan Kurdi washed up on the shore of Turkey, the premature end of a flight from Syria.
Nilüfer Demir’s photo of Kurdi, face down in the morning surf, prompted an outpouring of compassion for refugees around Europe and North America.
Now, voters in developed countries are rewarding candidates for smearing refugee resettlement as a cultural and security threat, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Director Evgeny Afineevsky hopes his new documentary, “Cries From Syria,” which premieres at 10 p.m. EST Monday on HBO, can revive our collective sympathy.
Director Evgeny Afineevsky and Syrian subject Kholoud Helmi talk about the new film, which chronicles the country's descent into civil war after initially hopeful demonstrations of the Arab Spring.
As I was growing up, teachers and other authority figures made me feel more comfortable about the state of the world by asserting that past atrocities like the Japanese Internment and the Holocaust couldn’t happen today. Adulthood pokes holes in the theory that we as a people won’t make the same mistakes and commit the same crimes we have throughout history. But it’s never been as starkly clarified how much the world can turn their backs to atrocities as with the current situation in Syria. Over half a million people have been killed this decade in the country, and millions have fled the nightmarish situation for countries throughout Europe and even all the way to the United States. And, for the most part, the world has done nothing. Evgeny Afineevsky’s “Cries From Syria,” opening in limited release today and playing on HBO on Monday night, isn’t so much a documentary as it as confrontation. Look at this and ask yourself if you can still do nothing. It should be required viewing for everyone in a position of power worldwide, especially those who would choose to enable genocide and stigmatize those who flee it.
Evgeny Afineevsky, director of HBO's Cries from Syria, & Kholoud Helmi, an activist featured in the film, explore the tragic effects of Syria's civil war.