Nowhere to Hide

WINNER TOP PRIZE AT IDFA 2016 !
Feature Length Documentary

Nowhere to Hide follows male nurse Nori Sharif through five years of dramatic change, providing unique access into one of the world’s most dangerous and inaccessible areas – the “triangle of death” in central Iraq. Initially filming stories of survivors and the hope of a better future as American and Coalition troops retreat from Iraq in 2011, conflicts continue with Iraqi militias, and the population flees accompanied by most of the hospital staff.

Nori is one of the few who remain. When ISIS advances on Jalawla in 2014 and takes over the city, he too must flee with his family at a moment’s notice, and turns the camera on himself.

This is a story of a man struggling for survival in Iraq…

where war has become the norm. The enemy is invisible, and neither women nor children have a safe hideout. Our protagonist, 36-year-old Nori Sharif, is husband, father of four children, and a male nurse. He becomes a videographer, documenting life over several years in one of Iraq’s most dangerous provinces: Diyala.

By following Nori we take part in his daily life. We are with him as another war erupts after the American retreat in 2011; a new war without fronts, uniforms or common rules. Without choosing sides, Nori records destruction as well as hope from this war zone. But it is the beginning of the end. The film stretches over a period of five years, beginning with the hope of a better future, to witnessing the growth of ISIS (the Islamic State), and eventually the fall of Nori’s home town. As Nori keeps filming throughout this period of time, he begins to turn the camera on himself.

Nori’s narrative represents persistence, hope and faith. But, in this new reality of being squeezed between two giant forces – ISIS on one side and the Iraqi militias on the other, is it possible to remain impartial and keep his family intact? Will he and his family survive, and be able to rebuild the country and the oasis that lies hidden behind the smoke and rubble?

  • CREW

    • Director: Zaradasht Ahmed
    • Producer: Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas
    • Co-Producers: Hans Husum, Stina Gardell
    • Photographers: Zaradasht Ahmed & Nori Sharif
    • Editor: Eva Hillström sfk
    • Additional photography: Fouad Baqi
    • Production Co-ordinator, Iraq: Fouad Baqi
    • Location Manager, Kalar Iraq: Hiwa Ali
    • Production Company: Ten Thousand Images
    • Co-Producers: Pasaremos, Mantaray Film
    • Distribution Services: East Village Entertainment, Diana Holtzberg
    • Festival Distribution: East Village Entertainment, Diana Holtzberg & Norwegian Film Institute, Toril Simonsen
  • TECHNICAL SPECS:

    • Duration: Festival 86 min / Tv Hour
    • Format: HD, DCP
    • Screen Ratio: 16:9
    • Sound Format: 5,1 Surround, Stereo
    • Languages: Arabic with english, norwegian subtitles

Nowhere to Hide – Official Trailer

(★★★★  MASTERPIECE) “…offers a terrifying, ultimately moving portrait of the effects of war, both psychological and psychic.”

The Washington Post

“Nowhere to Hide is THE MOST ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR”

Chicago Reader

THE NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS’ PICKS: “Raw immediacy that’s both appropriate and involving…gripping portrait…buoyed by Mr. Sharif’s cheery personality”

The New York Times

“Nowhere to Hide” offers an uneasy prognosis that is at once graphically gut-wrenching and doggedly life-affirming”

Los Angeles Times

“There are those films, which are wonderful to see and there are films that the world needs to see. The film we choose is both of these things. The experience was immersive and left us deeply touched. The director respected the unique perspective that only the subject could have and in doing so he gave us an unprecedented window into the real life lasting consequences of war.”

IDFA Jury statement

“The 10 Best Movies of 2017”

Vulture - New York Magazine
DIRECTOR ZARADASHT AHMED

DIRECTOR ZARADASHT AHMED

Director and Photographer Zaradasht Ahmed is a Kurdish/Norwegian Filmmaker. He was born and raised in Northern Iraq. His previous work includes the award-winning “Road to Diyarbakir” and “Fata Morgana”. His latest film “Nowhere to Hide” has won several prestigious international prizes including Best Feature Length Documentary at IDFA (2016), Best Documentary at the One World Human Rights Festival (2017), the Audience Award at Thessaloniki Film Festival (2017), the Nestor Almendros Prize for courage in filmmaking at the Human Rights Watch FF (New York 2017), the Citizen Journalists prize from Traverse City FF (2017), and the Norwegian AMANDA for Best Documentary (2017). Zaradasht has many years of experience working with documentary filmmaking in the Middle East, North-Africa, and Asian regions, as well as experience training locals in documentation.

My ambition is to let the audience reflect on the human consequences of a brutal reality where all taboos are violated.

With “Nowhere to Hide” I want to show that we are all part of this reality – war, explosions, victims, terrorism, they affect us globally, and we are all responsible, despite our geographical whereabouts. Meanwhile, I want to show the human resistance that is growing among these survivors; to show the hope of rebuilding after the breakdown of civilization.

In the end, as humans, the only thing that can help us survive is to believe that the will to build will always be stronger than the desire to destroy.

Background

Fifteen years after the US-led invasion of Iraq the country continues to dominate the headlines with stories of sectarian violence, bombings, kidnappings, corruption and dire poverty, human displacement and a massive refugee crisis.

Institutions and infrastructures are breaking down, and the de-stabilization of the region continues to reach new areas. The country has become a breeding ground for new and diverging religious, ethnic and political conflicts that also spreads far beyond the Arabian Peninsula. A lot of land is now in the Islamic state’s (IS) hands; a seemingly undefined army of international jihadist, mercenaries, ex-military and clans that don’t seem to have any greater common long-term strategy than power and influence.

During the first years after the US invasion a war pattern was obvious: that being between the occupier and the opposition forces. But in 2006-8 there was a change in character; ethnic sectarianism flared up and the violence became increasingly unpredictable and random. Families, tribes and communities were divided, and it became difficult to distinguish friend from foe. How can one give a truthful picture of this state of war when the areas are forbidden “no-go”-zones, and the survivors are without a voice? By training and directing Nori Sharif to film his surrounding, this has become a possibility.

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