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Iraq in Fragments

Each scene rolls on quietly with poetic light and ambient sounds, with the few words spoken coming from the Iraqi people themselves. Each of the three parts of the film focus on one person, and simply shows what they see and hear, as their voices sparsely speak about their lives. The first person is a Sunni boy living in Baghdad, the second is a Shiite militia-man, and the third is a Kurdish boy in Northern Iraq. There is no judgement to what’s captured. There is little plot, only getting to know each of these people and their worlds.

It’s surprising that anyone could get such personal and intimate access to these people, especially as a western director. Yet director James Longley is able to show each person’s hopes and fears up close. He lived in Iraq for two years to make the film. He went alone and filmed alone.

The children we follow at the beginning and end are wise, moving and heartbreaking. The eight year old boy says “When I grow up I want to live abroad, I dream about living somewhere beautiful.”

Between the governments of the world and anti-government factions, we often forget the majority of people outside these small groups are regular people trying to live their lives. The actions of these governments and factions take their tolls. In the United States, we are often shown the view from on high, but never down close with everyday people, who are trying to go on working and living among the danger and wreckage.

You can’t walk in someone else’s shoes or see through their eyes. But films like Iraq in Fragments take you a step closer to it.

More on the film – Cinematical

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posted by Trout Monfalco