The Blood of My Brother (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

The Blood of My Brother 2005

Directed by Andrew Berends

Visceral documentary traces the radicalising effect of the US occupation on one Shi-ite family. “A revealing insight into the war in Iraq from the locals' point of view.” — Variety

Iraq / USA In Arabic and English with English subtitles
84 minutes DigiBeta

Director, Photography, Sound

Editor

Aaron Soffin

Music

Stephen Barton

With

Ibrahim al-Azawi
,
Sayid Moqtada al-Sadr

Festivals

Amsterdam Documentary 2005; Tribeca 2006

Elsewhere

As visceral as Iraq in Fragments is measured, this documentary traces the radicalising effect of the US occupation on one Shi-ite family. The Blood of My Brother brings us into painful proximity with the grief of a Baghdad family whose alpha male Ra’ad is killed – martyred – by US troops while standing guard at a mosque. Ra’ad’s teenage brother Ibrahim struggles desperately in his new role of breadwinner. We see how the cocktail of grief, anger and impotence clearly fuels the burgeoning militancy of young Iraqi men: it’s a short step for Ibrahim into the world of the Mehdi Army, a Shia insurgency inspired by the demagogic cleric Sayid Moqtada al-Sadr. Andrew Berends’ camera brings us as close to these militants as we are ever likely to get. We see them weep, sing, dance – and skirmish with Coalition forces on the devastated streets of Sadr City and Najaf.

“Made with access to the Mehdi Army and embittered citizens the Western news media – or even the CIA – might envy... Andrew Berends creates a revealing insight into the war in Iraq from the locals’ point of view.” — Leslie Felperin, Variety