Synopsis by Mark Deming
On December 26, 2003, an earthquake of staggering impact hit the Iranian city of Bam -- 43,000 people were killed, 20,000 sustained injuries, and 60,000 lost their homes. Bam's greatest architectural landmark, a citadel dating back to the medieval era, was leveled, along with most of the city's most important buildings. And though slowly but surely the people began to put their lives back together, the emotional scars left by the tragedy would not quickly heal. Dutch filmmakers Aliona van der Horst and Maasja Ooms traveled to Bam to document the wreckage and how the earthquake had impacted those who remained, and Voices of Bam was the result. Voices of Bam shows a cross section of the city's survivors struggling through their days, with their thoughts on their new lives added as voice-over narration, rather than telling these tales through standard talking-head interviews. Voices of Bam received its North American premiere at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.