We all know in our hearts that war really sucks. That much is a given. For whatever the reason, the aftermath is almost always so much deeper than expected and it's the common people, not the instigators, who suffer the most. The war in Yemen is no different, but we're really not going to talk about that all that much. You see reader, although "Yemen: The Silent War" is the name of Sufian Abulohom's short film, the content actually pushes the war itself to the back of the line. This movie is about the people caught in the middle. The innocent people. Husbands, wives and children. This is the story of their current lives. The hardships they now face. Displacement, destruction and death. Can you imagine living with the constant knowledge that a missile could drop on you, or your family, at almost any moment? Can you imagine having to make the decision to leave your home? The home you have worked for all your life, just to attempt to keep your family safe? Knowing that essentially... it's only a temporary solution? A temporary life fix? Why you ask? Because having to leave is only the start. Once gone, what do you have left? No money. No prospects. Just a camp, and what amounts to life on the streets. This is what "Yemen: The Silent War" is about. Not the people fighting, rather those caught in the crossfire with nowhere else to turn. War is brutal for those fighting. War is hell for those who are not.
So you already know this is going to be a sad, heartbreaking story. It's safe to assume any documentary on this subject would be. Right? So everything boils down to one thing. How does it look? "Yemen: The Silent War" utilizes wide, revealing landscape shots to show us viewers the scope of it's story. It is true that nothing we watch on our screens can ever compare to the real thing, but some of the images are powerful enough to give us an idea.
Mixed within these well done video segments and interview pieces are also animations. Simple black sketches animated over the scenery. They are so basic in nature, even childlike, that they completely contrast the camera images and truthfully... paint a really strong picture. The inclusion of these animations was an excellent idea - and Sufian Abulohom has shown some incredible directorial chops by using them.
Considering this film has such a short run time, there really isn't all that much to write about - "Yemen: The Silent War" really does make it's point. It's not really about the war or the politics involved. It's about the people. The people who have had their lives utterly destroyed by no fault of their own. It's eye opening to say the least - and earns every star I've awarded. For an all out open and honest look from a different point of view, you really can't go wrong with this one. Not at all.