Beautifully crafted, poetic documentary frames war-torn Iraq through three male clans: a Sunni master and apprentice, a young Shiite commander and his men, and a Kurd farmer and son.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
James Longley’s beautifully crafted, poetic documentary frames war-torn Iraq through the daily experience of three different male clans: a Sunni master and apprentice, a young Shiite commander and his men, and a Kurdish farmer and son. Without making any explicit claim to do so, the movie quietly probes the religious, ethnic and political fissures exacerbated by the occupation. — BG
“A one-man production of startling audacity and aesthetic provocation. It isn’t just that Longley worked unembedded in Iraq for two years, gaining access to the stories of civilian Iraqis in wartime and risking his life at almost every turn. It’s that he used this occasion to make an art film – framing fact as if it were fiction, digitally flaring colors in defiance of vérité and every preconception of a ravaged country, shocking us first with the beauty of Iraq and then with the recognition of why we’re never allowed to see it that way... If Longley’s astonishing feat of poetic agitation has a precedent in the entire history of documentary, I’m not aware of it.” — Rob Nelson, Village Voice