The winner for best documentary short at the 2017, New Filmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA), The Last Plight follows the displaced indigenous Assyrians and Yezidis of Iraq after the rise of DAESH in 2014.
Documentarian Sargon Saadi gives a glimpse of what happened to these two minority groups after the Iraqi and Kurdish forces abandoned their posts, leaving Mosul defenseless and being overrun in a matter of hours. This forced over 600,000 people to flee the Nineveh Plains, seeking refuge in Northern Iraq.
One father asked in his native tongue of Aramaic, while holding his infant son in a filth-ridden camp, “What wrong did this child commit to deserve to live in a place like this? Is he guilty? Let’s say we, adults, have faulted, but does this child?”
These people fled, leaving all their belongings the moment word got out that DAESH was invading. An elderly man questions if it was the Virgin Mary who protected them as they ran for their lives from Mosul to Baghdede.
Mikael Benjamin, a member of the Nineveh Research and Development center uses the one word the west refuses to say in describing the plight of the Assyrians and Yezidis…GENOCIDE!
“…without any dout, this is a genocide. These are crimes of ethnic and religious cleansing,” said Benjamin, during the filming of the documentary.
A Yezidi woman from Sinjar tells the cameras of how DAESH began bragging about the abductions of Yezidi girls via social media, making claims of how cheap they were selling them. The same woman relays a story of three small children on a mountain top who were escaping DAESH. The youngest was too small to flee, so the young boy was thrown off the cliff by his father in order for the rest of the family to survive.
These people feel lost, they talk to the press and documentarians who come record them, then leave them high and dry. One woman prays for death, another wonders why do the Christians deserve what is happening to them in their native land.
One Assyrian man questions the church leaders who tells them to be peaceful people, but peaceful until when? He asks how often they can turn the other cheek until they can defend themselves?
Saadi captures the struggle of these two minority groups in their native land without turning it into “torture porn.” The suffering of the Assyrians and Yezidis is real and the world continues to look away.
The Last Plight has been shown to the European Parliament yet little has been done by them to help these people. As much as the western world hates Russia and Putin, they seem to be the only ones extending a hand to the disenfranchised people of Iraq and Syria.