The Suffering Grasses
CoR’s new film, The Suffering Grasses, is now finished and available for screenings. As the conflict in Syria continues to deteriorate, we want the voices of those most affected by the violence to be heard as widely as possible. If you are interested in hosting a Syria solidarity event and want to screen the film, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in finding ways to take action in support of the Syrian nonviolent resistance, visit our action page.
Over a year later, with thousands dead and counting, the ongoing conflict in Syria has become a microcosm for the complicated politics of the region, and an unsavory reflection of the world at large. Against the backdrop of the Arab Spring, NATO’s toppling of Moammar Qaddafi in Libya, and the complicated politics of the region, this film seeks to explore the Syrian conflict through the humanity of the civilians who have been killed, abused, and displaced to the squalor of refugee camps. In all such conflicts, large and small, it is civilians—women and children, families and whole communities—who suffer at the leisure of those in power. While focusing on the plight of those caught in the crossfire of the hegemons, we seek to unravel the conflict by exploring the motivations of its actors—the Ba’athist regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Free Syrian Army and other geopolitical players like the United States, Israel, Russia, China, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, the Gulf countries… When elephants go to war, it is the grass that suffers. This is a film about the elephants, but made for the grasses.
In May 2012, director Iara Lee participated in a press delegation to the Turkish refugee camps housing Syrian exiles, where she interviewed those who have been most affected by the bloody conflict. Some who fled to the camps identify as militants, others are committed to nonviolent tactics, and many more are just trying to live in peace without repression. Each may have his or her own opinion about the decision of some actors to take up arms, or about whether the international community should try to topple the regime. Ultimately, however, any understanding of the Syrian conflict and its costs should be rooted in recognizing the humanity and suffering of these refugees. This film is one effort to do just that.
Beyond making the film, Lee also published an article and a photo slideshow at the Huffington Postarguing that “The Only True Revolution in Syria is Nonviolent.” The article and the film have generated alively debate and significant press interest. Check out our extended content below, and find out what you can do in solidarity with the nonviolent resistance in Syria.