Voices of Bam by Horst, Aliona v.d. and Ooms, Maasja
The powerful earthquake that struck the ancient city of Bam in southeastern Iran on December 26, 2003, killed over 43,000 people, injured 20,000, and left 60,000 inhabitants homeless. Much of the city, including the 2,000-year-old mud-brick citadel that was universally revered as one of the world's architectural heritage sites, was completely leveled. Voices of Bam begins one year after the terrible disaster whem most international aid has left the country. The film shows how a city tries to recover from the loss of 40.000 of its citizens.
As much as the sight of disasters repels us, we often find it difficult to avert our eyes. But it is hard not to be frustrated and a little nauseated by the standard reporting method of sticking cameras and microphones into the faces of bruised and dazed survivors while repeating the pointless question: "How did it feel?" Voices of Bam offers a completely different portrayal of disaster - one far more sensitive than mere reportage - as it accords its subjects enormous dignity while giving them an opportunity to express themselves with a rare, simple eloquence.