By Jadelyn Breier
Today I had the opportunity to watch the gut-wrenching film “Notturno” during an exclusive screening. Although I have never been someone with a huge interest to learn about history, this documentary captured my attention. From beginning to end, I was locked in on the film.
The documentary, which was filmed over a three-year span, takes place along the borders of Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria, and Lebanon. Director Gianfranco Rosi sheds light on the families who have been greatly impacted by continuous civil wars, brutal dictatorships, and interference from ISIS.
Throughout Notturno, we dove into the current lives of those in Middle Eastern countries who have overcome a fearful life within civil wars. We watched these individuals forgo their new “normal” and how they now cope with such tragic memories. I will say the tragedies the documentary presented were far more eye-opening and realistic than any history class could ever-present.
Watching children explain in detail the experiences they and their families were apart of during times of ISIS, country invasions, and the most controlling dictatorships ever seen, truly had me in shock. At one point, a child shared drawings of what had happened. He spoke to his teacher as if these things were normal.
“They had my family in chains, they burned the bottoms of our feet and killed everyone who walked in,” expressed the young boy as he addressed his experiences with ISIS.
In another scene, we watched a group of people huddle in an area they were once tortured and imprisoned. I can’t imagine myself or anyone in my family going through such brutality like that. I also can’t imagine what the healing process would be to overcome the PTSD, nightmares, and trust issues after it.
As someone who has gone an entire life full of privilege in a country built on freedom as many of us have, the stories and broken families shown throughout Notturno really put my own blessings and privileges into perspective. Notturno brought to the surface how important love, sacrifice, and survival are between individuals during times of hopelessness.
Notturno will officially be on OnDemand and Hulu on Jan. 29 for all viewers.