On Her Shoulders


Saturday, Nov. 10 at 1:00pm
Washington U./Brown

At only 23 years old, Nadia Murad’s life is a dizzying array of important undertakings — from giving testimony before the U.N. Security Council to visiting refugee camps to soul-bearing media interviews, emotionally draining speeches, and an endless succession of one-on-one meetings with top government officials. Those demands take an enormous toll on this once-ordinary girl, but Nadia — who shares this year's Nobel Peace Prize — somehow manages to persist: Having survived the 2014 genocide of the Yazidis in Northern Iraq and escaped sexual slavery at the hands of ISIS, she’s become a relentless beacon of hope for her people. With deep compassion and a formal precision that matches Nadia’s calm and steely demeanor, filmmaker Alexandria Bombach — who won the documentary directing prize at Sundance — follows this strong-willed young woman, who once dreamed of opening a beauty salon in her village, as she fights to bring ISIS to justice and save her people from extinction. The Hollywood Reporter writes: “Less a portrait of accidental activist Nadia Murad than a sensitive witnessing of the way she has endured life in the public eye, ‘On Her Shoulders’ is passionately attentive to the plight of the Yazidis while making broader observations about the call to public service.”

94 min.
Arabic, English & Kurdish

Directed by

Alexandria Bombach


Iraq U.S.

Film Category

Human Rights Spotlight International Spotlight Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight Middle Eastern Focus Women in Film Spotlight


Human Rights War Women's Issues


With an introduction and post-film discussion by Leila Sadat, director of Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute at Washington University.

Sponsored by

Barbara Smythe-Jones

Film Website

Official Website