Hawar, Our Banished Children
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 14m
Director(s): Pascale Bourgaux
Language: Kurdish, English, Arabic with English subtitles
Where To Watch: world premiere at Visions du Réel - Nyon 2023
RAVING REVIEW: HAWAR, OUR BANISHED CHILDREN, Pascale Bourgaux's eye-opening documentary, delves into the journey of young Yazidi women who have faced abduction and sexual assault at the hands of Daesh jihadists. The film unearths their plight as they endure the horrors of war and the ordeal of being rejected by their families, who view their children born of rape as the enemy's progeny.
This documentary captures the often-overlooked consequences of war and extremism, giving a much-needed voice to these women. Bourgaux's film is enriched with evocative cinematography. HAWAR, OUR BANISHED CHILDREN, examines the secret lives of the "invisible children" born from brutal mistreatment. These children, shunned by the Yazidi community as "bastards of Daesh," face a bleak future, with thousands being taken to orphanages in Iraq and Syria or even given up for adoption without proper verification.
The film also showcases the resilience and strength of these women, revealing the secret initiatives and safe houses established by Kurds, Swedes, Americans, and even some Yazidis to help these mothers reunite with their children.
HAWAR, OUR BANISHED CHILDREN’s dedication to shedding light on the untold stories of these mothers and their children makes it a must-watch film. Pascale Bourgaux's compassionate storytelling resonates with audiences, making this documentary essential for those seeking to understand the human costs of armed conflict.
The film serves as a call to action, urging society to embrace and support these survivors and their children rather than ostracizing them. Through its candid portrayal of deeply personal and painful experiences, the documentary opens up a long-overdue dialogue on sexual violence in conflict zones. The courage of these women, who bravely share their stories, inspires others facing similar challenges, contributing to breaking the cycle of shame and stigma.
As a testament to the power of storytelling, HAWAR, OUR BANISHED CHILDREN, raises awareness and fosters empathy, encouraging us all to stand in solidarity with these survivors as we strive for a more just and equitable future. With its unique blend of storytelling, this documentary will captivate casual viewers and cinephiles alike, reminding us of the importance of recognizing the invisible victims of war and providing them with the necessary support and resources to rebuild their lives.
In conclusion, HAWAR, OUR BANISHED CHILDREN, is a thought-provoking documentary that unveils the hidden pain of Yazidi mothers and their children. By giving them a platform to voice their experiences, the film calls for a more compassionate and understanding world where victims of war and violence are neither invisible nor silenced.
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[photo courtesy of THE PR FACTORY]