Mar 26 2018
From a refugee camp in Lebanon, we follow the story of Nidal, a 14 year old survivor of war. Born female, he has identified as a boy since the age of 9 after witnessing the death of two brothers and escaping Syria. It’s a devastating documentary about the wreckage of war, and of complex identity in a culture where gender fluidity is not comprehended. Directed by Tarek Turkey, a filmmaker from Baghdad, Iraq (now living in NYC), “Nidal” moves carefully and emphatically. “What do you like? What are you thinking about,” Turkey asks Nidal, aiming to start a dialogue. “That’s enough…the past has gone,” a frustrated Nidal answers, leaving the interview. Clearly this is a complicated battle, of trust, of attempting to show trauma without exploiting it. So too, a Unicef worker named Salah aims to forge a connection, with varying levels of success. Nidal’s sister provides much of the context, and details her own struggles with work, and the family's attempt to assimilate into a place where they are not wanted. Ultimately, the film is just an introduction — a small but important document gaining significance by operating from an observatory stance rather than a didactic one.
Presented By: The Filmmaker
Born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, filmmaker Tarek Turkey has a unique and raw approach to finding and capturing challenging stories. His genuine interest and investment in the lives of those he films give his documentaries an intimate and multi-faceted perspective. His latest work "Daughters of Paradise" was nominated for a Webby Award in 2016 and his short documentary Nidal premiered at SXSW in 2017.