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On Her Shoulders

100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes; New York Times Critic’s Pick
2018 Sundance Film Festival – Winner: Directing Award, U.S. Documentary

A special Post-Film Discussion will take place on Sunday, November 11 following the 5 PM screening of On Her Shoulders, with Susan Rosenstein and Alan Berkowitz, centered on public awareness and fostering support and aid for survivors of the Yazidi Genocide. Read more about the speakers below.

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict,” according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee announcement on 5 October 2018 in Oslo, Norway. Nadia Murad is the first Iraqi to be awarded a Nobel prize.

Twenty-three-year-old Nadia Murad’s life is a dizzying array of exhausting undertakings-from giving testimony before the U.N. to visiting refugee camps to soul-bearing media interviews and one-on-one meetings with top government officials.

With deep compassion and a formal precision and elegance that matches Nadia’s calm and steely demeanor, filmmaker Alexandria Bombach follows this strong-willed young woman, who survived the 2014 genocide of the Yazidis in Northern Iraq and escaped the hands of ISIS.

Nadia has become a relentless beacon of hope for her people, even when at times she longs to lay aside this monumental burden and simply have an ordinary life.

About Susan Rosenstein and Alan Berkowitz

Susan Rosenstein is a Connecticut educator and the founder and director of the Connecticut Coalition for Yazidi Relief.  Rosenstein has taught eighth grade early American history in East Granby, Connecticut for fourteen years. She has a BA in Political Science with a focus in international affairs from Hofstra University and a Master of Arts in Secondary Education from the University of Hartford. In 2014, Rosenstein was named the 2014 Teacher of the Year for the town of East Granby, Connecticut and was a semifinalist for the State of Connecticut Teacher of the Year.  In 2016, Rosenstein was awarded the prestigious National Daughters of the American Revolution Outstanding Teacher of American History Award. Following the ISIS attacks on Yazidi communities in 2014, Rosenstein began reaching out to various organizations in hopes of gaining aid for those impacted. Seeing the need to educate others about the crisis in order to garner action, she established the Connecticut Coalition for Yazidi Relief, a grassroots effort building public awareness and fostering support and aid for survivors of the Yazidi Genocide.

Alan Berkowitz holds an MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from Gratz College and a BA in Political Studies from Roger Williams University.  For over twenty five years Alan has been involved with promoting Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education.  He has presented to Middle School, High School and University students on various topics including the experience of his family during the Shoah.  He has worked with educators across a broad spectrum and collaborates regularly with the Connecticut Department of Education, the University of Connecticut, and the HERO Center at the University of Hartford. Alan was also a facilitator for the Anti-Defamation League’s confronting antisemitism program.  His paper “Spain and the Jews during the Holocaust” is in process of being published in Spain.  He is a founding member of One-by-One.org an organization that was created by participants in a dialogue group of descendants of the Third Reich and their victims.  He is also a founding member of Voices of Hope, an organization created by descendants of Holocaust Survivors.  He served as the group’s first Vice-President, Chairman of its education committee, and developed programming including the annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration.  Alan currently serves as an advisory board member for the CT Consortium for Yazidi Relief, Jewish Family Services Holocaust Survivor Committee, Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford, Connecticut Human Rights Partnership, and the Jewish Hartford European Roots Project.

"Alexandria Bombach's direction and editing are exceptional; she captures images that are both subtle and formidable."

Ken Jaworowski, New York Times

"a moving, sensitive portrayal of a woman - and a people's - perseverance."

Vanessa H. Larson, Washington Post

"The film catches Murad's delicate balancing act of speaking for the dead while trying to live her own life."

Sean P. Means, Salt Lake Tribune

"On Her Shoulders is an intimate, empathetic documentary, made with discretion and power."

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Movie Info

Directed by Alexandria Bombach
94 minutes
In Arabic, English and Kurdish with English subtitles

A special Post-Film Discussion will take place on Sunday, November 11 following the 5 PM screening.


SENIORS (65+): $8