• Unrated, 1 hr. 19 min.
  • Documentary, Special Interest
  • Directed By:
    In Theaters:
    Oct 29, 2004 Wide
    On DVD:
    Oct 29, 2004
  • Magnolia Pictures

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Voices of Iraq Reviews

Page 1 of 1
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

June 26, 2005
[font=Century Gothic]Everyone has an agenda.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Here's mine: it is one of pacifism. I do believe in peace and violence only as a means of last resort.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]The makers of the film "Voices in Iraq" have one, too. Ostensibly, the idea of the documentary is admirable - distribute 150 digital cameras to ordinary Iraqi citizens, so they can film the world around them, starting in March 2004, one year after the American invasion.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]What should have happened was a cinema verite examiniation of the country at large without comment, but it departs about twenty minutes in to show torture footage from Abu Gharib from Saddam Hussein's brutal reign and uses this footage to excuse the American abuses because Saddam Hussein did much worse. An abuse of authority is still an abuse and cannot be excused this way. [/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]In fact, the documentary seems to be a rationale for defending the American invasion. It does talk about the Kurdish genocide in 1988 but then where were the American armed forces then? One person brings up the never proven connection between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. In fact, "Voices of Iraq" occasionally departs from its chosen structure to show propoganda made by the terrorists.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]I had always recalled that WMD's and terrorism were the reasons for going to war in the first place but when the infrastructure of Iraq was ripped out without thought of what would happen next, this allowed for much more terrorism to happen. Thus, even with the new freedoms enjoyed by the Iraqi people, explosions can be heard in the background.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
December 11, 2008
Alright so here's the thing about Voice of Iraq: it's heart is in the right place. The whole idea of the film isn't a totally revolutionary one, but it's one that doesn't rear it's progressive head in U.S. filmmaking much these days, so it still counts as refreshing. To give the cameras and the power to the people, and create a filmmaking force that documents its own story is something that was revolutionized, utilized, and perfected in Canada in the 70s as a part of the Challenge For Change program. Under dedicated hands in the right circumstances, it works, but without the logisitcal knowledge to match the go-get-em attitude, it can fall flat on its face, and Voices of Iraq is a clear example of that. See, it's not that the story isn't there. The people of Iraq have countless tales to tell to America, the rest of the world, and most importantly, each other, and the medium of film is great way to tell those stories. There's little that can me more empowering than a bit of film education and a camera, especially when a person hasn't had either of those things. But what do you do with that? The entire base of the Voices of Iraq plan seems to be missing in that the filmmakers invested little past the whole "lets give people" cameras thing. It's almost as if they were looking for cheap labor to shoot their movie for them so they could throw it together at the end (which obviously wasn't the full intention, just sayin). They halfassed it. What did they expect the people of Iraq, the people of the audience, really, anyone to gain from this feature? There's not story to be told here except for the countless back and forth between those who back and oppose the war. Nothing is enlightened, no cultural boundaries are really smashed, and probably most dissapointing of all, an organizing means that could've been used to unite different people of Iraq together in a single cause was completely overlooked in the pursuit of some sort of film vision that became completely invisible on screen. There's no outcome in the film, and there's no outcome outside of the film. The people of Iraq who are credited with the directing and shooting of Voices of Iraq were given a means with no end, and because of that, there's little film to credit them with. Sorry everybody, the Canadians probably could've done better.
June 6, 2011
The producers of this documentary distributed 150 digital video cameras to Iraqi citizens. From over 4,000 hours, the footage was whittled down to 79 minutes. Sadly, I have come to expect progressive political undertones with most films. That's not a political statement; it's simply the reality of what happens. Try as they might, it's difficult to construct a dispassionate documentary. And since the bulk of the industry subscribes to left of center politics, that's what comes out in the wash. That noted, I was shocked and surprised to learn that this film was an exception to the rule. In Iraqi's own words, we hear an appreciation for America and it's presence in Iraq that is virtually nonexistent in the reporting of mainstream media. While I certainly understand that though Iraqi's are speaking with their own voices, that editors can assemble the collage of opinion in whatever sequence they choose. Further, choices must be made on what makes the cut vs. what remains on the cutting room floor. Nevertheless, what we learn is--whether pervasive or not--that another viewpoint exists which is not being reported. If this film provides us with anything, it's that we don't always get the full truth from mainstream media. Are you surprised?
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

June 26, 2005
[font=Century Gothic]Everyone has an agenda.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Here's mine: it is one of pacifism. I do believe in peace and violence only as a means of last resort.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]The makers of the film "Voices in Iraq" have one, too. Ostensibly, the idea of the documentary is admirable - distribute 150 digital cameras to ordinary Iraqi citizens, so they can film the world around them, starting in March 2004, one year after the American invasion.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]What should have happened was a cinema verite examiniation of the country at large without comment, but it departs about twenty minutes in to show torture footage from Abu Gharib from Saddam Hussein's brutal reign and uses this footage to excuse the American abuses because Saddam Hussein did much worse. An abuse of authority is still an abuse and cannot be excused this way. [/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]In fact, the documentary seems to be a rationale for defending the American invasion. It does talk about the Kurdish genocide in 1988 but then where were the American armed forces then? One person brings up the never proven connection between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. In fact, "Voices of Iraq" occasionally departs from its chosen structure to show propoganda made by the terrorists.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]I had always recalled that WMD's and terrorism were the reasons for going to war in the first place but when the infrastructure of Iraq was ripped out without thought of what would happen next, this allowed for much more terrorism to happen. Thus, even with the new freedoms enjoyed by the Iraqi people, explosions can be heard in the background.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
Page 1 of 1
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