On Her Shoulders


Rafael 2 Sun, May 6, 2018 7:45 PM
Film Info
Section:Art of Impact
Running Time:94 min.
Director:Alexandria Bombach
Producer:Hayley Pappas
Brock Williams
Cinematographer:Alexandria Bombach
Editor:Alexandria Bombach
Cast:Nadia Murad
Print Source:RYOT Films
Note Writer:Joni Cooper


From the first frames, it’s evident why director Alexandria Bombach won the 2018 Sundance US Documentary Best Directing Award for her film that portrays the plight of the Yazidi community facing mass extermination at the hands of ISIL extremists. Telling the story through the words and actions of 23-year-old reluctant activist Nadia Murad, Bombach brings an elegant, gentle touch to her subject, and you not only see, but also feel her empathy for Murad, who has bravely told her achingly personal story countless times for the benefit of politicians, journalists, and the United Nations General Assembly. Retelling her own harrowing story has taken its toll, but Murad refuses to rest lest the atrocities continue to go unnoticed by those who may be able to help. Recently named a UNODC Goodwill Ambassador, Murad was also one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People of 2016.”

Sundance 2018—Documentary Best Directing Award
SXSW 2018—LUNA® Chicken & Egg Documentary Award

IN PERSON: Director Alexandria Bombach

Watch the Sundance Institute interview with director Alexandria Bombach.

Sponsored by:
Teresa Wolf

Thank you to our community partner Beyond Genocide Campaign.

Additional Information

Alexandria Bombach is an award-winning cinematographer, editor, and director from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her feature-length documentary On Her Shoulders premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where Bombach won Best Directing in the US Documentary competition. Her first feature-length documentary, Frame By Frame, had its world premiere at SXSW 2015, went on to win more than 30 film festival awards, and screened in front of the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani. Bombach continued her work in Afghanistan in 2016 directing the Pulitzer Center-supported New York Times Op-Doc, Afghanistan by Choice. In addition to her feature documentary work, Bombach’s production company RED REEL has been producing award-winning, character-driven stories since 2009, including her 2013 film, Common Ground, and her Emmy Award-winning 2012 series, Moveshake.