For the first time in its history, Yemen could actually end up being represented at one of the most prestigious and mediatized cultural world events, the Oscars, switching the lime light from negative to positive. Should Yemen won, the impoverished nation will be celebrated for its achievement as opposed to pitied for its poverty and feared for the extent of its terror crisis.
Sara Ishaq, a Yemeni-Scot filmmaker has with her brilliant and compelling short movie “Karamah Has No Walls” literally broken the sound barrier and manage to make Hollywood listen to the voices of Yemen over hundreds other murmurs.
Sara Ishaq will compete alongside seven other documentary short films for a nomination spot at the Oscars. The final list of nominees will be announced on January 16.
Karama Has No Walls’ synopsis read as follow, “Yemen joined in with the protests immediately after the start of the Arab Spring. Unlike Egypt and Tunisia, however, the country’s authoritarian regime did not collapse but instead responded with violence. Consequently, the protests were followed by what in effect was a civil war that remains unresolved. The crucial date was 18 March, when a demonstration called the Friday of Dignity (Juma’at El-Karama) was held. Plainclothes snipers blocked the street with a wall and fired into the crowd from behind this barrier and surrounding roofs. Fifty-three people died and up to a thousand were injured. Three young cameramen recorded the course of events on that day from the heart of the ill-fated demonstration.”
Karama Has No Walls is above all a video testimony of Yemen 2011 uprising and the struggles which protesters had to face to reclaim their right to political self-determination. Uncensored and beyond any form of political activism this short film is a sum-up of Yemen’ struggle toward democracy.