The director of a short film making waves at several international festivals is just sixteen. Not only that, but she’s also Syrian. Commenting about the film entitled “The Girl Whose Shadow Reflects the Moon,” PRI calls it “wise and lyrical.” And says it is “infused with the sadness of a childhood shattered by war, and the efforts of an adolescent struggling to find a new home in a foreign land.”
The teen, taken the pseudonym Walaa al-Alawi, learned film production in a workshop taught by American filmmaker Laura Doggett in Jordan. After hearing many of the Syrian students complain about the Western depiction of the Syrian war and its people, Dogget encouraged her young students to tell their own stories and how the war has affected their young lives.
Walaa recounts in her film, about a heartbreaking incident she experienced on her way home from school, in the town of Dara’a. “I could hear something. ‘Psst.’ … My friend fell to the ground. The gunshot went through her head. My other friend, a gunshot went through her back when she fell. I stood there from shock. All I could think of was, ‘How can a shot go through like that?’ My friend was saying, ‘Walaa, I don’t want to die. I’m still young.’ This moment in my entire life, I will never forget it.”