Early on in James Longley?s astonishingly breathtaking Iraq in Fragments, a man sitting in a rubble-strewn street is heard to utter ?If it?s like this in the beginning-what will it be in the end?? Moments such as these, burned into the mind?s eye thanks to Longley?s vibrant photography, make this film more than memorable?it becomes eternal. The cinematography, editing, and music of Iraq in Fragments (all by the hand of Longley) help to make this whole package pure poetry.
Shot over two years by American Langley, Iraq in Fragments is an opus offering a trio of separate passionate portraits: ?Monhammed of Baghdad? follows a fatherless boy apprenticed to a domineering garage owner; ?Sadr?s South? chronicles Sadr followers rallying for regional elections even while they still enforce Islamic law with violent force; ?Kurdish Spring? tells the story of a Kurdish farming family welcoming the U.S. presence because it has offered them freedoms they never knew. Giving absorbing visage into the war-torn and not the actual war, this documentary unfolds these three engaging chapters that, taken together, form a prescient Greek Chorus giving voice to the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds alike. Just as in America, however, the voice is resounding, but rarely harmoniously unified.
Though An Inconvenient Truth walked away with top honors at the Academy Awards, this accomplishment by no means bested Iraq in Fragments, which was also nominated. In a time dominated by many dire issues, some rise to the top of the public consciousness through politicking. Others stand on their own revelatory merits.
Bottom line: A resounding voice that must be heard.