May 17, 2017
The regime’s biggest fears were those who held cameras, so they were the first to be eliminated. — Obaidah Zytoon, co-director, The War Show
When the Arab Spring reached Syria in 2011, 35-year-old radio DJ Obaidah Zytoon joined the revolution armed with two things: a video camera and hope. The portrait that resulted—encapsulating both the euphoria of protest and the devastating violence—is the subject of the 2016 Venice Days Award-winning documentary, The War Show.
Against the brutal backdrop of chaos and civil war, The War Show unfolds as an intimate account of the daily lives of Zytoon and her friends—among them a dentist, law student, and poet—and the transformations they endure documenting their own experiences of the Syrian conflict. But as protest marches turn into funerals, their ideas about the resistance—and their own identities—splinter. One thing, however, becomes clearer: the camera footage they collect doesn't just record the revolution—it is the revolution.
On May 9, New America NYC presented a screening of The War Show and a conversation with the film's producer and human rights experts on the state of the Syrian civil war, its estimated 11 million refugees, and what it'll take to move closer to resolution and peace.
Justine Nagan @justinenagan
Executive Director, American Documentary, Inc.
Executive Producer, POV & America ReFramed
Alaa Hassan @Alaa7assan
Producer, The War Show
Sarah Mehta @sarahlmehta
Attorney and Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU
Sana Mustafa @sanasyr6
Syrian refugee and social activist
Gissou Nia @gissounia
Human rights lawyer and Strategy Director, Purpose