On Her Shoulders

SXSW Chicken & Egg Award
South by Southwest
Directing Award ~ Documentary
Sundance Film Festival
Grand Jury Prize ~ Documentary
Sundance Film Festival
ON HER SHOULDERS offers a profound testament to Murad’s suffering, courage and unfathomable tenacity


On Her Shoulders

ON HER SHOULDERS is award-winning filmmaker Alexandria Bombach’s thoughtful chronicling of Yazidi activist Nadia Murad’s global awareness campaign. Twenty-three-year-old 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 (FRAME BY FRAME) follows this strong-willed young woman, who survived the 2014 genocide of the Yazidis in Northern Iraq and escaped ISIS to 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.

ON HER SHOULDERS premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where Bombach won the U.S. Documentary Directing Award, and went on to play at the South by Southwest Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

“Less a portrait of accidental activist Nadia Murad than a sensitive witnessing of the way she has endured life in the public eye, Alexandria Bombach's ON HER SHOULDERS is passionately attentive to the plight of the Yazidis while making broader observations about the call to public service.” – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

“What makes Alexandria Bombach’s ON HER SHOULDERS so powerful — besides the profound dignity of its subject, Yazidi massacre survivor Nadia Murad — is the way she reveals Murad’s distress at having to take on the role of activist… By exposing the ways public institutions and the media demand an explicit performance of suffering by human-rights spokespeople, Bombach shows that Murad’s nightmare will never end. It’s this understanding, so rarely addressed or even noticed in most portraits of refugees, that makes Bombach’s film essential viewing.” – Jay Weissberg, Variety

“Make no mistake, ON HER SHOULDERS offers a profound testament to Murad’s suffering, courage and unfathomable tenacity, but this deceptively standard-issue portrait also recognizes that compassion has never been so competitive, or in such short supply.” – David Ehrlich, Indiewire
Not Rated
Documentary, Politics & World Affairs, Women and Film, Justice
English, Kurdish, Arabic
Alexandria Bombach
Winner, SXSW Chicken & Egg Award, South by Southwest
Winner, Directing Award ~ Documentary, Sundance Film Festival
Nominee, Grand Jury Prize ~ Documentary, Sundance Film Festival

Four years ago, Nadia Murad Basee Taha was a teenager living in a Yazidi farm community in the Sinjar district of Iraq when ISIL took over the town, murdered 600 people, and captured the women and girls as sex slaves. She escaped three months later and has spent most of the time since speaking out ...

On Her Shoulders Get Tickets

There are currently no showtimes for this film. Please check back soon.