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Nezouh: A Poignant Syrian Film Capturing Humanity Amidst War

Nezouh: Unveiling Resilience amidst War's Grasp 

Film review by Dr. Ramzi Salti, Stanford University

Nezouh نزوح stands out as a Syrian war film like no other. Director Soudade Kaadan سؤدد كعدان, known for her remarkable work in The Day I Lost My Shadow (2018), once again proves her talent with this empathetic portrayal of life under siege.

The film primarily revolves around the everyday conflicts within a family, beautifully capturing moments that oscillate between comedic and emotionally charged melodrama as Zeina and her mother Hala express a common desire to escape their war-torn town, as most of their neighbors have already done.

Scene from Nezouh

Nezouh adeptly explores the toll of war on interpersonal relationships, skillfully juxtaposing mundane conflicts with the extraordinary backdrop of conflict. Through its delicate storytelling and engrossing narrative, the film delves into the resilience, desperation, and hope that coexist amidst adversity.

Nezouh Trailer (YouTube)

Nezouh made its highly anticipated world premiere at the prestigious Orizzonti Extra competition of the 79th edition of the Venice International Film Festival. The film captivated audiences at Venice's Sala Giardino, leaving a lasting impression. In attendance were acclaimed actress Kinda Alloush, talented actor Samer Al Masri, and the talented director Soudade Kaadan. The reception was overwhelmingly positive, with viewers applauding the film's compelling narrative and remarkable performances. To add to its accolades, the film received the coveted Audience Award, solidifying its status as a standout Arab movie of the festival.

Director Biography - Soudade Kaadan

Photo by Julien Chavaillaz - © FIFF/Julien Chavaillaz

Soudade Kaadan is a Syrian director, born in France in 1979, based in London. She studied theater criticism in the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Syria and filmmaking at Saint Joseph University (IESAV) Lebanon. Her first feature fiction film The Day I Lost my Shadow was awarded the Lion of The Future for best debut at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, and the jury prize for directing at the LA Film Festival, and screened at various festivals including TIFF, BFI London, Busan and IFFR. Her short film Aziza won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in 2019.

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