[Marxism] Fwd: Films from Iraq, Syria and Iran | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Oct 7 17:47:20 MDT 2016

Over the years I have seen many documentaries about Third World 
countries that were invaded by the American military or its proxies such 
as the Nicaraguan contras but none comes close to achieving the artistic 
and political power of Abbas Fahdel’s “Homeland (Iraq Year Zero)” that 
is distinguished by the insights of a brilliant director born in 
Babylon, Iraq. It consists of two parts, the first filmed in his country 
on the eve of the American invasion and the second in the first few 
months after it had occurred. Together they add up to 334 minutes and I 
can only say that I hungered to watch parts 3 and 4 if they existed. 
Unlike any other films in this genre, this is the very first—at least 
that I am familiar with—that is made by someone who is a native of the 
land suffering from invasion and occupation.

By analogy, think of what might have been possible if a Vietnamese 
director had access to relatively inexpensive digital cameras in 1965 
and interviewed the peasants who had been forced into strategic hamlets 
as well as the intellectuals in Saigon who could speak for the country’s 
nationalist yearnings. But also imagine that the director had included 
not just the suffering of his countrymen but also their culture, their 
humor and the values that had sustained them for millennia. Fahdel’s 
friends and relatives, who had been victimized both by Saddam and by the 
American occupation, are the voice of the Iraqis we have never heard. 
They are cultured, wise and sardonically witty about the conditions that 
have been forced on them. Among them is the star of the movie, the 
director’s 12-year-old nephew Haidar who is wise beyond his years and 
appealing enough to be featured in a Kiarostami film.

full: https://louisproyect.org/2016/10/07/films-from-iraq-syria-and-iran/

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