Megan Mylan on SIMPLE AS WATER – Mythily Ramachandran interviews (Guest Post, Exclusive)

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Academy award winner Megan Mylan’s latest documentary, Simple As Water, was shortlisted for an Oscar but did not make it to the final list of nominees. Mylan received an Oscar for her documentary, Smile Pinki, and the Independent Spirit Award for Lost Boys of Sudan, which was also named as a New York Times Critics’ Pick.

Simple As Water narrates the plight of four families ripped apart by the Syrian war. We first meet Yasmin staying at a refugee camp near the port of Athens with her four children. Her husband Safwan works in Germany. Yasmin hopes to reunite with him someday.

Mylan takes us next to Turkey where Samara, another Syrian refugee is struggling as a single mother with five children. Her husband was arrested by the regime and the war has transformed her twelve year- old son, Fayez into an adult. Stepping into his father’s shoes, he shares his mother’s responsibility in taking care of his siblings.

Diaa’s story from Syria is one of hope and waiting. This mother whose eldest son Mohammad was taken away five years ago by ISIS still believes that he will return home one day. Keeping herself alive in her son’s memories she endures the uncertainty while indulging love in her younger son Yazzouni, a special child.

In Pennsylvania, USA, Syrian refugees Omar and younger brother Abdul have applied for asylum. But Omar is denied asylum after authorities find his involvement in Free Syrian Army activities. Our lost stop is in Germany where Yasmin’s husband Safwan is awaiting the arrival of his family there. Continue reading on THE FEMALE GAZE.

mithilyMythily Ramachandran is an independent journalist from Chennai, India with over two decades of reporting experience in leading Indian and international publications, including Gulf News, (UAE), South Morning China Post, Lifestyle Asia and Another Gaze (UK). When this crazy film buff is not watching films, she is snooping around for those little-known stories of human interest, which eventually find a place in well known publications.

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and About.com. She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association in the Film, Documentary and TV branches and a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).