Syrian refugees in Jordan incorporate their stories of exile while workshopping Euripides’ The Trojan Women in Yasmin Fedda’s absorbing documentary. Since 2013, more than one million Syrians have declared refugee status. Jordan hosts more than 600,000 of them, and it’s there, in the capital Amman, that a group of filmmakers and producers came up with the idea of staging an adapted form of The Trojan Women with women who have themselves recently lived through the kind of ferocious war and bitter exile faced by the characters in the play.

60 women signed up, none of whom had acting experience, committing to seven weeks of rehearsals before curtain time. As the days count down the attrition rate increases. Some husbands aren’t comfortable with the idea of their wives on stage, while others fear retribution from Syrian authorities should they attempt to return home. The final staging is both choral and singular, the stark immediacy of their traumas given added potency, thanks to the minimalist production design.

Jay Weissberg

With special guests Yasmin Fedda, Itab Azzam and Georgina Paget


Please note that the festival is over 18s only