Segments in this Video

21st Century War Conditions (03:29)


Read an overview of Syria's civil war. In this film, a group of refugees tell their own story. Families flee across the border. Nine of ten war victims are civilians; a woman appeals to the international community to help her people.

Doomed to Live (02:14)

One man feels he does not deserve to live—it is his fate as a Muslim. Syrian refugees cross the border. Many are afraid they will be forgotten; a few have volunteered to crew this documentary. The production office is in a falafel restaurant.

Syrian Conflict Origins (02:31)

Refugees recall watching the Arab Spring develop on TV, and hoping that Syria would follow. They believe it will become like Iraq. Opposition splintered and no group was strong enough to assume power. Many lack military training; view footage of improvised street fighting.

Reduced to Rubble (02:19)

Syria is compared to an apocalyptic theme park. Refugees recall feeling unsafe outside their homes. The Free Syrian Army occupied one man's farm; his family fled to a refugee camp.

Crossing the Border (02:28)

A refugee describes a breakdown of humanity in the panic to flee Syria. Kurds face an uncertain future in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq.

Living with Uncertainty (03:29)

Syrian Kurds live in communal tents in transit camps; one woman says her children’s future has been ruined. View footage of fighting. A man's cousin was killed by a missile but he could not attend the funeral because of the sniper risk.

Kawergosk Refugee Camp (02:58)

Syrian Kurds are settled in long-term tent cities; no one knows how long they will be there. A woman says her children have no future there; her husband works in Kurdistan and comes home infrequently.

Educational Challenges (03:39)

Less than half the children at Kawergosk Refugee Camp attend school. Materials are scarce and students have trouble concentrating. Each tent holds 5 to 10 people; families feel stressed and unsafe.

Refugee Camp Living Standards (02:39)

A man's teenage son became paralyzed when he could not receive treatment for hepatitis. He needs to be bathed daily, but there are no bathrooms. The man says he would have preferred death in Syria to uncertainty as a refugee.

Kawergosk Management (03:07)

Life in a refugee camp is dictated by distribution lines. Each family receives insufficient food and supplies for the month. Middle men pocket much of the aid money.

Grieving Father (03:09)

An elderly man suffers cancer and cannot work. He and his wife are not properly nourished by Kawergosk Refugee Camp food. His son was killed in Syria and left behind three children.

Gaining Survival Skills (03:27)

A man went for days without food while fleeing Syria. He worked 11 hours a day after arrival at Kawergosk Refugee Camp and feels the experience has made him stronger.

Kawergosk Daily Activities (02:11)

Most refugees are unemployed and cannot leave the camp. Old and young men play games, smoke shisha pipes, and share Syria memories on their cell phones.

Impermanence of Life (02:02)

A Kawergosk refugee reflects on the futility of war. View footage of fighting in Syria.

War Trauma Support (02:06)

A group of Kawergosk refugees meets to sing, share memories of Syria, and dream of peace.

Appealing to the International Community (02:52)

Refugees feel helpless watching negotiations on TV; it may be years before they can return to Syria. They ask the UN and Europe to intervene on their behalf. View footage of fighting.

Healthcare Challenges (03:34)

View footage of Geneva negotiations about the Syrian civil war. A man expresses sadness over losing his friends. A woman's daughter died and her son became disabled in Kawergosk; she is unable to get medical help.

Child Needs (02:44)

A woman has trouble getting milk and diapers for her toddler in Kawergosk Refugee Camp. Her husband is wounded and cannot provide for the family. A young woman looks for work to support her mother, but nepotism is a barrier.

Kawergosk Economy (05:15)

Syrian refugees with capital open small businesses. The unemployed become frustrated and depressed. A young man finds solace in songwriting.

Civil War (02:46)

View footage of fighting in Syria. Elderly men reflect on the senselessness of killing friends and neighbors and express their beliefs in democracy and religious tolerance. Refugees play cards at Kawergosk.

Documenting Camp Life (02:42)

Most refugees fled Syria without photo albums. A teenage girl makes new memories at Kawergosk; view her black and white images. She hopes they will help her people by demonstrating their plight to NGOs.

Realizing Dreams (02:36)

A Syrian refugee couple decides to get married at Kawergosk, rather than waiting for an uncertain future. Guests dance but are subdued.

Plans for Syria (02:39)

A teenage girl wants to study at university and have a career when she returns to her homeland. A young man says his experiences as a refugee have made him stronger.

Credits: A Requiem for Syrian Refugees (03:20)

Credits: A Requiem for Syrian Refugees

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A Requiem for Syrian Refugees

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Shot unembedded less than one hundred miles from ISIS controlled territory, this program offers an unprecedented in-depth perspective on the daily lives and feelings of refugees. Requiem was shot with a crew of refugees who felt the urgency to convey their situation to the world. Albeit set against a bleak background, Requiem is a film about hope. As the adolescent refugee Mizgin says: “This experience has made us stronger”. The film ends with a cathartic wedding ceremony revealing their unwavering joy of life. Scored to Gabriel Faure’s Requiem, the film is a touching portrait of the dire conditions and anxiety faced by refugees, as well as a celebration of the human spirit facing adversity. Shot on location in Northern Iraq in stark black and white, Requiem is a powerful tale of suffering and courage, a universal reminder of the civilian toll and trauma of the 21st century wars.

Length: 71 minutes

Item#: BVL111672

ISBN: 978-1-68272-637-2

Copyright date: ©2014

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