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