Iraq in Fragments Reviews

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Tricia Olszewski
Washington City Paper
March 6, 2008
Visually, the director's flair is impressive. But Longley's clear intention of using children's faces to better tug at our heartstrings would be more admirable if it didn't feel as shamelessly staged.
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
April 1, 2007
Bafflingly, the threats in an occupied country consistently come from within, not without or overhead: what has the effect of the US occupation and Hussein's vicious rule been on these people? Offers a fragmented, obscuring picture of Iraq.
Matt Pais
Metromix.com
November 9, 2006
People talk about the country being split into pieces, but there's not much shown to articulate how, when or why that is the case.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Kent Turner
Film-Forward.com
November 7, 2006
Much of what is captured will be familiar for viewers of Frontline or other recent documentaries.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
Variety
January 23, 2006
Brings back nothing journalistically substantial from the war front.
Philip French
Observer [UK]
January 27, 2007
There are some striking images, but the film is less useful for not having any commentary on the confused events depicted.
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 6, 2007
Longley's journalistic discipline is as impressive as his artistic eye: He's content to show, not tell.
Full Review | Original Score: 92/100
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
November 16, 2006
This visually sumptuous movie richly deserves the cinematography, editing and directing prizes it carried off at Sundance last January.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 17, 2006
A documentary of stunning immediacy and marvelous images...
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
February 1, 2007
There are embedded journalists in Iraq, and then there is "Iraq in Fragments" director James Longley.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Fernando F. Croce
Slant Magazine
November 3, 2006
Style comes occasionally close to taking precedence over its heartfelt humanistic intentions, yet the film's deep respect for human resilience and hope ultimately renders cynical accusations of touristy condescension moot.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
February 15, 2007
Director James Longley doesn't say anything new about the politics of Iraq, but he leaves us with a vivid impression of its people, its places and its seemingly irreconcilable contradictions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Chris Barsanti
Filmcritic.com
November 10, 2006
Told in tones both wondrous and horrible.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Kam Williams
EURWeb
December 28, 2006
A heartbreaking assessment of Iraq's reconstruction from the point-of-view of its intended beneficiaries.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
November 8, 2006
The film is unusual among Iraq documentaries for its impressionistic, frequently gorgeous cinematography and for its structure: It's split into thirds, one about a Sunni (the boy), one about a Shiite mob, and one about the quiet Kurds up north.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 10, 2006
Documentary filmmaker James Longley (Gaza Strip) has a flair for cinematography and editing and a poetic sensibility that informs both these talents.
Full Review | Original Score: 3-4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
December 30, 2006
Although the film doesn't make any earth-shattering discoveries, it at least attempts to put a face on an 'enemy' that few Americans have considered.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Sam Jordison
Film4
January 15, 2007
A work of beauty as well as horror, Iraq In Fragments is one of the best of the many documentaries to come out of that ruined country. It's powerful, enlightening and necessarily depressing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
November 2, 2006
An engrossing award-winning documentary about the chaotic and bloody situation in Iraq as seen through the eyes of Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
November 9, 2006
... a beauty and a richly textured palette rarely seen in such video documentaries.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Tom Meek
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009

Deseret News, Salt Lake City
April 7, 2007
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