Part 1: Before the Fall
Part 2: After the Battle
Please note that this film will screen with a 30-minute intermission.
In February 2002—about a year before the U.S. invasion in 2003—Iraqi filmmaker Abbas Fahdel traveled home from France to capture everyday life as his country prepared for war. He zeroed in on family and friends as they went about their business, with much of the action seen through the eyes of the director’s 12-year-old nephew, Haider. When Fahdel returned in 2003, two weeks after the invasion, daily activities like going to school or shopping at the market had become nearly impossible; many areas of Baghdad had been closed off to ordinary citizens, yet everyone pressed on. The young Haider represents, in various ways, the voice of his people: “They are occupiers and we can’t oppose them. Our country has become like Palestine,” he tells a neighbor. Fahdel’s epic yet intimate film paints a compelling portrait of people simply trying to exist in the midst of constant turmoil, and describes the fine line between life and death that civilians in a war zone must walk from day to day.
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Travel support generously provided by French Cultural Services.