The typical media client has a restricted consideration span in relation to geopolitical conflicts. Let’s take Ukraine as a specimen. Within the first few weeks of the battle, there was breathless media protection, an avalanche of chatter on social media, and heated conversations even among the many apolitical. However, issues have cooled off. One can’t assist however sense a waning focus in relation to that struggle. I deliver up Ukraine with a view to underscore the dearth of consideration presently given to conflicts in non-European/Anglo nations which have been invaded by the U.S. — Iraq and Afghanistan — or concerned in proxy conflicts whereby the U.S. has a stake akin to Yemen.
The title of director David Henry Gerson’s documentary, The Story Received’t Die, is kind of telling. The movie brings our consideration again to one of many bloodiest human tragedies of the twenty-first century, the Syrian Civil Conflict. Gerson focuses on the Syrian diaspora, particularly a bunch of younger artists residing in Berlin, Paris, and Amsterdam. The Syrian battle started when protests erupted in opposition to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. A flurry of avenue demonstrations, anti-Assad social media posts, and protest artwork swept by way of the nation. Younger folks felt alive and stuffed with hope. They felt their voice mattered, and alter was inside attain.
As anticipated, the response from the Assad regime was swift and brutal. Quite a few musicians, dancers, and visible artists recount their experiences of imprisonment over social media postings and protest music releases. They discuss being tortured, talk about recruitment efforts by completely different forces, together with ISIS, ostracization, and emotionally deliver up the killing of relations within the bloody civil struggle.
“…brings our consideration again to one of many bloodiest human tragedies of the twenty-first century, the Syrian Civil Conflict…”
The brutality of struggle and torture was solely half the wrestle for a lot of of those younger artists. The second a part of that wrestle concerned life-threatening migration journeys, refugee camps, and even homelessness. However, to the filmmaker’s credit score, he doesn’t merely deal with political heartache and wrestle. As a substitute, Gerson showcases the artistry of those younger gifted Syrians. From the lyrical movement of rapper Abu Hajar to the drawings of Dialas Brisly, to the postmodern visible mashups of Tamman Azzam, to the numerous others featured, these are all critical artists which have remodeled their ache into magnificence. In what’s the most emblematic story capturing each the ache and the inventive drive of those artists, a bunch of musicians land on European soil and instantly give away CD samples of their music to these awaiting them on the coast.
The Story Received’t Die, admittedly, follows the usual guidelines of documentary filmmaking. However, the artists and that particular alchemy they possess to rework ache into artwork make it a compelling watch. Some are requested to touch upon the freedoms they’ve gained now that they dwell in Western Europe. Their responses are insightful. Whereas they admit that they admire the liberty to precise themselves artistically with out worry of arrest or torture, they really feel that their artwork doesn’t have the identical efficiency it had of their house nation. In Syria, their artwork posed a risk to the established order, therefore the brutal crackdown on the a part of the Assad regime. In Europe, their artwork faces no opposition. In actual fact, it will get absorbed, consumed, and sterilized by a tradition oversaturated by expression and communication.
The Story Received’t Die offers us hope that what occurred in Syria gained’t be drowned out or forgotten and that daring inventive expression that disrupts the West’s established order may also not die. These younger Syrian artists hold such hopes alive.