The abuse of women and forcing many into sex slavery is a world-wide issue these days, and the stunning documentary “On Her Shoulders,” directed by Alexandria Bombach, dramatically brings the matter to the fore in human terms.

The film focuses on victim and heroine Nadia Murad, a 23-year-old survivor of the 2014 genocide against the Yazidis in northern Iraq. She has become a spokeswoman for ending assaults on women, and she was awarded the 2018 Noble Peace Prize in recognition of the role she has played.

Murad comes across as somewhat shy and not seeking the spotlight. One gets the impression that her coming forward was out of a sense of duty rather than self-promotion. But her firmness is sharply depicted.

Addressing the United Nations is a highlight, and we see all the preparation that went into her ultimate appearance. Her story is a compelling one, including how ISIS made her a sex slave, as has been the case with so many women victims. After her escape, she felt it important to tell about her plight in order to help other unfortunate women by raising the international community’s awareness of what has been happening.

One comes away with great respect for Murad and appreciation for her courage, as well as appreciation for Bombach in making such a fine and moving documentary. An Oscilloscope Laboratories release. Reviewed October 19, 2018.

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