From award-winning filmmakers Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested, ‘Hell on Earth’ chronicles Syria’s descent into the unbridled chaos that allowed the rise of ISIS.
Thursday, April 14 | 3 pm | FREE and open to the public | Stokes Auditorium, Hardtner Hall, McNeese State University
2017 | R (for some disturbing violent images) | 1 h 39 min
Four hundred thousand Syrians have died since the civil war began, in 2011; millions have been displaced, and approximately a million refugees have landed in Europe, with disruptive effects that are now familiar. isis is an obsession for American citizens and politicians, but the Syrian conflict, which partially gave rise to isis, has only barely registered. This documentary is an attempt to place the conflict at the center of American consciousness, to show that the Syrian civil war and isis are inseparable. Families such as the Mohammeds have been ensnared in a cascading series of power grabs that have overwhelmed their hopes for a normal life.
Sebastian Junger, who co-produced the documentary with Nick Quested (the head of Goldcrest, a documentary-production company in London), narrates “Hell on Earth,” which he also wrote. Junger points out that foreign players (Iran, the Kurds, Turkey, Russia, America) have all pursued their own interests in Syria. “Once you get involved in a proxy fight, so many people have so huge a stake in the outcome that it’s almost impossible to stop,” he states. The trouble is, not only does foreign involvement keep the war going, the war itself comes back and bites its enablers. American politics has been materially altered by the fear of isis and of Syrian refugees. Our hopes for a normal life have been dislodged as well. WATCH A TEASER