"Born in Syria" Documentary Review

By Adrianna Nehme //

The row of orange life jackets headed to the Greek Island was the only thing that could be seen under the night sky, and the rough waters that lapped against the worn-down dinghy were what was heard. Children cry and a man collapses, but this is now normal for the thousands of families who must escape their war-torn country to seek a better life. As they look back on the broken nation they left behind, it hits them that their arrival is just the beginning.

The Netflix documentary “Born in Syria” follows the journey of seven children who must figure out what their life will look like as a result of Syria’s civil war. Among these children include 8-year old Hamude, whose parents were killed in the war, and 10-year old Khais, who is unaware of his father's death after being burned while playing outside. The film focuses on the horrors that these children experience at a young age, which reflects feelings of guilt and anger. The film also highlights how the arrival to a favorable location does not necessarily mean that the family is fully integrated and settled. For some families, the process of finding an apartment takes months, while others struggle with learning the language of their new country, bringing discomfort, especially when attending school.

It was truly striking to see the crowd of refugee families rush through the metal gates just to have a place to set up their tents and receive their meager food serving for the night. The fact that this is the new normal for such innocent children and their families is disheartening. Experiencing this behind the screen inspires feelings of gratitude for the freedom the viewer possesses, especially the simple things such as being able to walk to a friend's house and go to school. The viewer can contrast their smaller troubles to the larger ones that refugees face daily, which may bring comfort to the viewer while also inspiring them to do what they can to help those facing these heartbreaking situations. I recommend this movie for anyone who wants to learn more about the impacts of the refugee crisis on uprooting the lives of innocent civilians and the struggles this brings onto generations of families.

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