The Girl Who Saved My Life

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Sweden | 2016 | 79 minutes | Hogir Hirori

When a documentary filmmaker returns to his native Kurdistan to document the refugees fleeing ISIS, he happens upon an abandoned 11-year-old girl lying in pain in the scorching heat and makes a fateful decision, which ends up shaping both their lives.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

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"There's a war in my home country again." That's how documentary filmmaker Hogir Hirori begins his film The Girl Who Saved My Life. In 1991, at age 11, Hirori fled Saddam Hussein's genocidal campaign in his native Kurdistan, eventually ending up in Sweden. Twenty-three years later, Hirori decides to return to northern Iraq to document the stories of other refugees of war; more than 1.4 million people are fleeing the terror of the Islamic State. Upon his arrival, he is invited to join a helicopter transport to the Shingal Mountains, where hundreds of thousands of people are stranded without access to food or water, surrounded by IS forces. However, on his way to the helicopter, Hirori finds Souad, an 11-year-old girl in pain, lying alone on the ground in the scorching heat. He decides to stay and help her instead of going on the helicopter, a fateful decision that will shape both their lives. The Girl Who Saved My Life puts a human face to the news stories of the past year: men summarily executed, women forced into slavery, children kidnapped, and lives destroyed. But faced with these extraordinary circumstances, Hirori is no passive witness. Actively engaged in helping the people he encounters, he demonstrates—and documents—the difference the individual can make.

Director Biography
Kurdish director Hogir Hirori was born in Duhok in 1980, but moved to Sweden in 1999. Though he currently resides in Stockholm, he returned to Duhok in 2014 to begin work on his documentary, The Girl Who Saved My Life. He also works as a photographer and editor, and founded the production company Lolav Media.

Sponsored by Center for West European Studies UW, Center for Human Rights UW

  • Original Language Title: Flickan som räddade mitt liv
  • Director: Hogir Hirori
  • Country: Sweden
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 79 minutes
  • Producer: Hogir Hirori
  • Screenplay: Hogir Hirori
  • Cinematographers: Hogir Hirori, Millat Hirori
  • Editors: Hogir Hirori, Björn Eriksson, Anders Eriksson
  • Music: Mohammed Zaki
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Göteborg Film Festival 2016 (Angelos Award for Best Swedish Feature)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: Kurdish, Swedish
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP