The opening scene of Not Anymore shows a female Syrian woman standing outside in the open air, overlooking her collapsing city. She is 24. Her name is Nour. She says, "I used to wear fancy dresses and high heels but not anymore."
In the wake of realizing Syria may have access to chemical weapons and of all that President Bashar al-Assad has done to terrorize the people, Nour states that "Somebody has to know what this monster is doing." The revolution has given them some press, however. Nour faces the camera and as a lone woman without hesitation, she tells the world that she will give what she can. This is the attitude of many individuals who are against what Asaad is doing in Syria. They share similar sentiments. Many would like their stories told.
If we do not listen to these stories, what happens in terms of our intervention? Are we including those who would fight in our cause to intervene?
Real fighting scenes are displayed in front of the camera. You are suddenly in Syria as the violence goes on. Nour is asked if she is scared for her life after seeing a man die mere minutes ago. She answers that that type of mentality has left her. So many die while simply doing nothing. She would rather die while doing something.
"Why should I die cheap? I have to do this. I'm not afraid of death." This young Syrian's authenticity and bravery gives resilience towards the cause, and leads us to ask ourselves, can we help those like Nour rebuild their country without appropriating their agenda? Can we listen to what they want?
Mowya is another Syrian who discusses Asaad and his regime on the film. He says that everyone keeps one bullet for himself. "They tortured me very hard … threw me up and down, ceiling to the ground."
The reason that Asaad's followers do not question him is that he asks them, "Can you imagine anyone else can lead this country?" An image of that country with buildings in ruin are then shown. Mowya laughs, "His genius."
Such a defiance is important for these men and women against Asaad's regime to hold. The streets are empty. People are arrested. Tortured. Raped.
Nour used to teach English. She sometimes feels like the whole thing is a nightmare. She hopes to wake up one day and be in a classroom teaching. They all have dreams and lives. The government, she reasons, should come by a democratic process. Through voting. Not like this.
During a rally, a little girl is singing. A moment of peace, togetherness, and finding solidarity is interrupted by a bomb nearby.
Nour has seen friends die, and in response, she wants to continue to fight. She feels bad that those who sometimes commit these crimes are only 19. They are brought in. They are only teenagers but hold that responsibility. Politics had not been a welcome discussion topic in most households, and most preferred silence. However, this documentary gives voice to someone willing to get her story out there. For her and others like her, we must listen and take into account what they want, what they have to say, and be led by their perspective.
"I'm not going to give up," Nour says, looking into the camera. "Even if I die."
There is hope everywhere to rebuild the country. There are people there who, like Nour, are willing to die to protect it and rebuild it. We must give them that opportunity. We have to be willing to listen to their stories, rather than simply make our own of it. We must hear their voices and before we send out drones, must not drown them out.
Matthew Vandyke, the director, wanted to share the actual experience of Syrians in this documentary. On his Facebook page, you can learn more. He found his mission in the war in Libya and is currently assisting Syria.