BREAKING NEWS | Prayer for Syria

                               THE CURE AT TROY

                               Human beings suffer,
                               they torture one another,
                               they get hurt and get hard.
                               No poem or play or song
                               can fully right a wrong
                               inflicted or endured.

                               The innocent in gaols
                               beat on their bars together.
                               A hunger-striker's father
                               stands in the graveyard dumb.
                               The police widow in veils
                               faints at the funeral home.

                               History says, Don't hope
                               on this side of the grave.
                               But then, once in a lifetime
                               the longed for tidal wave
                               of justice can rise up,
                               and hope and history rhyme.

                               So hope for a great sea-change
                               on the far side of revenge.
                               Believe that a further shore
                               is reachable from here.
                               Believe in miracles
                               and cures and healing wells.

                               Call the miracle self-healing:
                               The utter self-revealing
                               double-take of feeling.
                               If there's fire on the mountain
                               Or lightning and storm
                               And a god speaks from the sky

                               That means someone is hearing
                               the outcry and the birth-cry
                               of new life at its term.

                               Seamus Heaney

I know I'm not alone when I say I'm struggling to make sense out of the vastly differing realities we - people of one community, one world - are facing at the moment. How, for instance am I to reconcile the relentless atrocities in Syria - the scale and horror of which are beyond comprehension - with the simplicity and grace of the life I'm living in my relatively peaceful corner of the world? Domesticity, safety and privilege on the one hand: a life of devastating fear, brutality and loss on the other? And of course, elements of each reside in both. 

Breaking News is not easy viewing. It is, however, my attempt to build a bridge across the chasm, to acknowledge and in some small way stand alongside the suffering of so many the world over; those for whom shelter and safety are unknowns, waking and sleeping unsafe and whose lives are daily darkened by violence and sorrow. 

The text is a combination of poetry (At Any One Time is the title of the original poem, written in 1998 in response to the genocide in Kosovo) together with lines borrowed directly from a May 14th NYTimes article on the Syrian crisis. The headlines that day read 'Atrocity in Syria - No Victim Too Small.'  Appalled by the stark truth of what I had just read and seen, I felt bereft, angry and powerless. It was into that space that the prompt came to offer up a prayer and makesomething - hence, this film.  


I am grateful to Moscow-based composer Darin Sysoev for making his music available to me for this film in the spirit of collaboration. Please click on the links below to discover more of his hauntingly beautiful compositions  --- 

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