Waking from a dream as she slept comfortably in a remote Kurdish village in Northeastern Iran, Karla Hansen stared wide-eyed at the ceiling. Across the border in Afghanistan, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), controlled by American pilots sitting in front of video screens inside the U.S. were dropping bombs on the poorest of Afghanistan’s poor. Hundreds of children, beautiful children, like those who welcomed her every day during her visit to Iran, had already perished. On that night, Hansen made a promise to herself. She would make a film to document the effects of the drones through the eyes of innocent children and families with no place left to run.
Silent Screams deftly interweaves the lives of Iranian, Afghani and Pakistani villagers with those of America’s forgotten poor. Director-producer Hansen ties the plight of defenseless civilian victims abroad with the hardships of countless Americans whose vital needs remain unmet as a result of America’s spiraling military spending. In 35 minutes, the documentary examines the crucial question “What is real security?” Delivering an unapologetic account of the devastating effects of U.S. warfare in the Middle East, Silent Screams also offers a timely message about the humanitarian disaster that a U.S. war on Iran would create.