Since September 11th 2001 much of the world has been in the grip of clashing narratives. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, we inhabited a polarized existence; there were villains and there were victims – there wasn’t much room for anything in between. Even then, even so close to the open wound, we must have known such labels, such stories, were too simple, dangerously simple. Now, nearly a decade passed, the narratives have shifted and we often find ourselves cast in the role of aggressor or invader. Or at least that is one story.
The story is being written all around us. Stories can either divide and alienate or stories can unite and heal. Stories are one way we impose order on perceived chaos: stories offer reason, stories offer explanation, stories offer comfort, but stories also plant the seeds of conflict as we know from the current war of narratives.
The documentarian’s job is to complicate the narrative. Here, you will not see the spectacle of violence or the spectacle of martyrs or heroes. Here, you will see everyday people. People living a world away and people living in very different circumstances. Here, you will see people with whom you have something in common, some piece of their story will resonate with you. Here are mothers, daughters, sons and fathers. Listen to their stories.