“On Her Shoulders” Director Alexandria Bombach on telling survivors’ stories.


“Inevitably you're going to have a footprint with every single documentary. There is no fly on the wall. You are a huge elephant on a stool….I don't know what you are, but you're not a fly on the wall.”

In this episode we catch up with 2019 duPont award winning director Alexandria Bombach about her latest film, On Her Shoulders. Initially commissioned as a short, Bombach knew it had to be a feature. So she made her first feature length rough cut in just six weeks.

Filming itself was hard.  And not just because of 22 hour shoot schedules and the painful subject - covering ISIS atrocities and their continuing repercussions. But because she was reminded every day just how much her subject, the 23-year-old Yazidi genocide survivor and activist Nadia Murad, had to give up to share her people’s story with the world. Murad went on to win last year’s Nobel Peace Prize...but is it all worth the price?

So, that’s what the film (and the conversation) deals with – a call to action for journalists and filmmakers, to think about the stories we tell, how we tell them and most importantly, why. Bombach’s candor is matched only by her humor, and willingness to be as vulnerable as her subjects.  

And watch “On Her Shoulders” today on Amazon Prime, Google Play, or Youtube.

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