One of our wonderful friends had the opportunity to sit and chat with Iara Lee: the director of the powerful documentary film on the Syrian Revolution “The Suffering Grasses.” Read what guest writer Kerry A Sellers had to say about her experience with the incredible Iara Lee:
The Suffering Grasses: It means when elephants fight, it is only the grass that suffers. Kuwait: the country to show the premier screening of “The Suffering Grasses” a documentary film on the ongoing Syrian conflict directed by Iara Lee. The fifty two minute film rolled onto the Cinescape screen for the very first time to an invited audience on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. The audience comprised of Syrians, and ambassadors, including the Ambassador of Syria itself. Iara, a Brazilian national of Korean descent, would surely be apprehensive as to the response of the largely Syrian audience to her film, being a foreigner. However, the response was a heartfelt appreciation of her work in which tears were shed and hugs were spread.
But Iara Lee is not the only powerful tool behind the mission which ‘Al-Omariya Kuwait’ affectionately calls “Suliaman’s Hoopoe”– The little bird that goes and sees. Al-Omariya Kuwait, a Kuwaiti lady, met Iara back in 2010 on the MV Mavi Marmara as a fellow passenger on the vessel in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla which was attacked in international waters by the Israeli navy, leading to the murder of nine humanitarian aid workers. Frustrated by the escalating condition of the Syrian conflict Al Omariya called on Iara to document a message for the world to see. Iara calls her the “angel” behind the project.
Iara states that the role of art and culture is a powerful tool in executing peace, however, she also admits that non violence can be difficult in circumstances as is conveyed in the film, whereby she documents the origins of the uprising in Syria to have started out peacefully, but it has now moved to a very volatile scenario. When people are being murdered, raising a lighter for peace is no longer effective.
Iara and Al Omariya do not want the viewers of the film to simply walk away more informed about the Syrian crisis but to walk away informed and to act. They believe everyone has the capacity to contribute in some grass roots way. Baby steps can eventually go a long way. Iara’s task ahead of her is to get screenings all over the world.
“The Suffering Grasses” is currently being screened at select Cinescape Theaters (Fanar, Avenues, 360 Mall, Bairaq) until July 4th. Admission is FREE. Click HERE to view film showtimes & theater locations. Click HERE to read more about Iara Lee.