Iraq

Karzan Kardozi – I Want to Live (2015)

I Want to Live is a documentary on the lives of Kurdish Refugees from Syria, living in refugee camps in Kurdistan. Shot on location, it is set against the Syrian civil war and the ISIS (Islamic State) attacks upon Kurdistan. Told through the eyes of a young boy, Shndar, living with Thalassemia disease, he searches for an immediate treatment as he ages without losing hope, leaving his home amid simmering ethnic and religious hatred to live the life of a refugee. The film tells stories of daily life on the camp and outside of it. More than being a film on the life of refugees, it is an intimate character study and gripping tale of innocent lost amides wars, a meditation on life, death, war, peace, and tolerance. Read More »

Mohamed Al Daradji – Syn Babilonu AKA Son of Babylon (2009)

When we think of Iraq, we picture a war torn country which had seen the worst of a dictatorship under Saddam Hussein, where it spent many years in conflict with Iran, before the UN moved in during Desert Storm to liberate occupied Kuwait, followed by the US led invasion in Desert Storm II. Western media continue to pepper us with news that internal strife continues to this very day with news of suicide and miscellaneous bombings, and I’m sure we’re more than curious to want to know about tales from within, rather than agencies from the outside that continue to paint it like a war zone. This is as close as you can go on a road trip from Northern Iraq to Baghdad, onward to Nasiriyah then Babylon. Read More »

Abbas Fahdel – Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) (2015)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
What would you do if the world’s most fearsome military presence threatened to invade where you live? How does one even begin to prepare for that kind of assault? In “Homeland (Iraq Year Zero),” Baghdad-situated filmmaker Abbas Fahdel offers world audiences an extraordinary opportunity to identify with the “enemy” in the Iraq War — conveniently faceless in most Western coverage, but humanized here by members of Fahdel’s own family. Clocking in at nearly six hours and presented in what may feel like raw homevideo form, this transformative verite glimpse into the lives of everyday Iraqis demands both patience and empathy to sit through, but the reward is worth every second, as an extremely limited number of courageous programmers and curious audiences can attest. Read More »

Shawkat Amin Korki – Bîranînen li ser kevirî AKA Memories on Stone (2014)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Kurdish childhood friends Hussein and Alan would like to direct and produce a film in their homeland of Iraqi Kurdistan about the genocide of Kurdish people in Iraq, the Anfal military operation in 1988, that led to the murder of more than 182,000 Kurds. They learn that, to achieve veracity by the means of cinema and to face their own identity, it’s worth putting everything on the line – even their own life. The viewer follows the entire crew’s efforts to achieve the goal of making the film despite the numerous problems that accompany the shoot. They are forced to struggle with inadequate financing, the mistrust of the local inhabitants, the exaggerated and inappropriate demands of a nationally-adored movie star, and to fight the disapproval of Sinur’s father, even though the young woman would love to take on the starring role… Read More »