There have been many films covering the crisis, conflict and atrocities which have taken place in Syria following the unrest of 2011. Whilst it’s largely accepted that over half-a-million people have been killed since hostilities broke-out, it’s extremely difficult to quantify numbers and differentiate between civilian casualties and armed combatants. However, it’s clear that the daily toll of living in a conflict zone has left a lasting scar on those who’ve remained. This is the subject of Soudade Kaadan’s first feature, The Day I Lost My Shadow.

Whilst a war rages around them, Sana (Sawsan Ercheid) is determined to give her son as ordinary a childhood as she can. Desperate for fuel during the freezing winter, she shares a cab with siblings Reem (Reham Al Kassar) and Jalal (Samer Ismael) in a risky attempt to find gas. When the driver jumps a checkpoint, they have to run for their lives. Sana must navigate myriad dangers in order to be reunited with her son.

The Day I Lost My Shadow is a powerful drama which highlights the trauma and desensitising effect of living in a war zone. Despite suffering from privations and hardships, with the spectre of death never too far away, Kaadan shows the resilience and humanity of ordinary Syrians. These are just people who want to be free and be able to get on with their lives. Lives which have often be ripped apart by senseless bloodshed. The Day I Lost My Shadow uses a clever trick to demonstrate the harrowing consequences of living surrounded by fear, torture and death.

The Day I Lost My Shadow screens at London Film Festival on 14,15 & 16 October.