Escape From Syria: Faiza's Story


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Escape From Syria
"The technique keeps the children uppermost in our minds."

As the conflict in Syria rumbles on, the number of documentaries and films about it continues to grow. This short by Jack Newman - which uses the testimony of Syrian mum Faiza as its backdrop - presents her story through animation.

Her story will be depressingly familiar to anyone who has watched any of the documentaries - or even the TV news - on the subject, as she briefly relates the original uprising before outlining trauma suffered by her children, the disappearance of her elder brother and the family's flight to safety.

Like Evgeny Afineevsky's Cries From Syria, Newman keeps the emphasis on the children - understandable given the horror statistic that one in three Syrian kids have known nothing but war since their birth. Although we don't hear their voices, he has taken the inspiration for his animation from Faiza's children's drawings, simply illustrating her story as she tells it. There's also some canny use of black and white to indicate the grief and sorrow she feels over her missing brother.

The technique keeps the children uppermost in our minds. This short would also be a good starting point for discussion with older children about the conflict.

Watch the film below:

Escape from Syria - Faiza's story from Bullion on Vimeo.

Reviewed on: 18 Jun 2017
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Animation depicting the story of a refugee who fled Syria with her children and taking inspiration from the children's drawings.

Director: Jack Whilding Newman

Starring: Faiza

Year: 2017

Runtime: 5 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2017

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