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Poetry of Resilience

Academy® Award nominated director Katja Esson’s (FERRY TALES, LATCHING ON) exquisitely made film explores survival, strength and the power of the human heart, body and soul—as expressed through poetry. She highlights six different poets, who individually survived Hiroshima, the Holocaust, China’s Cultural Revolution, the Kurdish Genocide in Iraq, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Iranian Revolution. By summoning the creative voice of poetry to tell stories of survival and witness, each reclaims humanity and dignity in the wake of some of history’s most dehumanizing circumstances.

POETRY OF RESILIENCE gives us an intimate look into the language of the soul and brings us closer to understanding the insanity of war and how art will flourish, in spite of any obstacle. This film is recommended for courses in poetry studies, literature, peace and conflict studies and genocide studies.

“[A]rtful, engaging… The writers use their poetry not only to bear witness to these atrocities but also to examine internal scars that often are beyond healing.”
Ernest Hardy The Village Voice

“Katja Esson's moving and evocative documentary ‘Poetry of Resilience’ should inspire anyone who might be in need of a way to voice the distance between their self and a most difficult experience.”
David Strathairn, Actor

“This film creates a lyric on its own. Highly recommended.”
Brian Turner, Acclaimed Solder-Poet


Main credits

Esson, Katja (film director)
Esson, Katja (film producer)
Esson, Katja (screenwriter)
Boraks-Nemetz, Lillian (on-screen participant)
Hardi, Choman (on-screen participant)
Kimenyi, Alexandre (on-screen participant)
Lee, Li-Young (on-screen participant)
Naf̄is̄i, Maj̄id (on-screen participant)
Shigemoto, Yasuhiko (on-screen participant)

Other credits

Editor, Susanne Schiebler; music, Eric V. Hachikian; cinematography, Martina Radwan, Ferne Pearlstein, Caspar Stracke.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Africa, Asia, Asian American, History, Holocaust Studies, Japan, Jewish Studies, Literature, Middle East, Performing Arts, Poetry, War


Poetry, Social Issues, Human Rights; "Poetry of Resilience"; Women Make Movies