ETERNAL SENTINEL

62 minutes, 2021
Director : Maryam ASHRAFI (UK, Iran)
Production : Ilha Productions (France)

If Maryam had not been in Tabqa that day, accompanied by the Arab 24 film-crew to interview Adwan Hamza Ali, would he have stepped on that mine and been killed? She reworks this question over and over again in her mind. It reminds her of why she fled Iran, her homeland. To overcome her trauma, Maryam talks to other journalists around the world, witnesses or victims of the same “sentinels” – these lethal incidents triggered by mines or improvised explosive devices. Despite the defeat of Isis these incidents have increased tenfold, the last scars of a caliphate with multiple fractures. Through various testimonies, Maryam offers a reflection on a profession-passion, the wounds it can leave and above all, how to heal them.

Maryam ASHRAFI is an Iranian photographer and director based in Paris. Born in Tehran in 1982, she graduated with a BA in Documentary Photography from the University of Wales. Her work explores different subjects: refugees in Paris, the mobilization of the Kurdish and Iranian diasporas and the Indignados Movement. In 2018, Maryam was DoP on the documentary I Am The Revolution (first shown at DOC NYC). As a freelance photographer she covered the aftermath of the wars in northern Syria, from Kobané to Sinjar until 2018. Her work on Kurdish resistance movements has been the subject of several exhibitions and publications, notably in The Guardian.

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