The Suffering Grasses

September 24, 2013 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

The Suffering Grasses: When Elephants Fight, It Is the Grass That Suffers
Directed by Iara Lee
(In English and Arabic with subtitles)  (2012) (52min)

A screening and Skype Discussion with the filmmaker! Presented by the Syracuse Peace Council.

When elephants go to war, it is the grass that suffers. Syria is a nation of 20 million people being trampled underfoot as resistance fighters battle government troops for supremacy. In THE SUFFERING GRASSES, filmmaker-activist Iara Lee interviews dozens of Syrians whose lives have been upended by the conflict. More than 355,000 Syrian refugees have fled their country to live in border camps. Distressed by the lack of assistance from the outside world despite repeated descriptions of their plight to the media, many Syrians have concluded that they are on their own. Indeed, an appalling number of tourists interviewed in neighboring Turkey are completely unaware of the situation in Syria.

With thousands dead and counting, the ongoing conflict in Syria has become a microcosm of political tensions in the Middle East and an unsavory reflection of the world at large. Against the backdrop of the Arab Spring 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 and get caught in the crossfire of the hegemons.

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.

About the Director:
Iara Lee is a Korean Brazilian film producer, director and activist who works mainly in the Middle East and Africa. She is better known as the director of the documentaries Synthetic Pleasures, Modulations and Cultures of Resistance, as well as for her involvement with the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla”, where during resistance followed by a struggle nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed by Israeli naval forces and many were injured. She is the founder of the Cultures of Resistance Network Foundation (formerly named the Caipirinha Foundation), a member of the Council of Advisors to the National Geographic Society and a longtime supporter of Greenpeace International.

Free to the Public. Donations appreciated.

For more information please call SPC at 315-472-5478