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Iraq in Fragments Reviews

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Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

February 27, 2007
[font=Century Gothic]"Iraq in Fragments" is a revealing documentary in three parts about the three main peoples of Iraq - the Sunnis of Baghdad, the Shias of the South and the Kurds - chronicled from the perspective of the citizens, most memorably from 11 year old Mohammed in Baghdad. Each group reacts differently to the fall of Saddam Hussein and the American invasion. Baghdad seems ambivalent; the Shias having been repressed for decades now are rising in power and militancy while the Kurds rejoice simply in their new freedom. But they all unite in one wish - the end of the American occupation.(Some voice the opinion that the Americans invaded Iraq for oil.) Also seen are the reactions towards democracy and the revelation that it will not solve all of the country's problems. [/font]
Jeff B.
Jeff B.

Super Reviewer

August 11, 2010
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.
John B

Super Reviewer

February 15, 2010
Not the view of the war that you generally get from newscasts, this documentary takes us into peoples' homes to find out how Iraq's inhabitants lead their day to day existence as political turmoil rages around them. I am surprised that people can remain calm in such circumstances.
Sarah P

Super Reviewer

September 30, 2008
I wasn't as impressed with this movie as I thought I would be. It pretty much just reinforces my belief that invading and occupying Iraq was one of the worst things we could do and that religion, ALL RELIGION, is crazy.
August 5, 2007
The first two stories grab my attention and empathy, but the third is more impersonal/moral and kind of loses me. The photography more than adequately presents the physical beauty of the country throughout.
jeffriguez
January 29, 2007
With the artful and fragile "Iraq in Fragments," director
James Longley has created a curious kind of documentary. In an industry where the current trend for docs is to have some kind of audience surrogate, be it a host ('An Inconvenient Truth') or the filmmaker himself (any Michael Moore movie), Longley ensures there is no outside presence felt beyond the camera itself. And his fly-on-the-wall approach is so subtle and sure that it's oftentimes easy to forget that apparatus, too. The movie takes place in thirds, entirely in Arabic, as it tells three stories - one Shia, one Sunni, and one Kurdish - in a pained attempt to understand a fragmented, post-war Iraq. As it turns out, unsurprisingly, there are no easy answers. This is rare, nonpartisan moviemaking, an honest-to-God search for logic in the mire, told as much in pictures as it is in words. The Sunnis openly curse the Americans; the Kurds finally have some semblance of peace without Saddam. Each perspective is given its due. The first part, which follows a boy named Mohammed as he navigates a confusing childhood, is about as good as documentary filmmaking gets, more emotionally complex than any fiction writer could invent. Unfortunately, it also makes the rest of the film feel a little less alive... which might be a somewhat unfair complaint, since Longley clearly achieves his superobjective - to show us that the Iraq puzzle isn't any clearer to the collective Iraqis as it is to anyone else. And he gets major points for not succumbing to commerciality, not making a conventionally "marketable," American documentary, not making something easily palatable to the right, left, or your average moviegoer. It's enlightening and also very frightening, as it clearly shows us that no matter what our plans from U.S. soil may be, there's no end in sight for anyone.
Michael9636
December 26, 2006
Finallly, a documentary which shows the reality of Iraq: three separate, distinct countries. This documentary blows away the myth of one, united Iraq. Kurds, Sunnis, and Shias have nothing in common.
April 1, 2013
a pretty damning patchwork, low-key and intimate humanistic images of hope, chaos, youth, uncertainty. the kids were really cool
March 9, 2013
Great Story Telling For a Documentary, I Think James Longley Had Risk His Life To a Great Dangerous To Capture These Images,

The Editing Made This Movie a 5 Stars Film :)
Jeff B.
Jeff B.

Super Reviewer

August 11, 2010
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.
alistarr
June 26, 2010
"Our history has been written for thousands of years; he who tells history must tell it for all, not only for himself."

I've just finished watching the movie called "Iraq in Fragments," filmed before Bush/McCain pushed for and got authorization for what's now called "The Surge."

The first two parts of the film (Sunni and Shiite) were hard to watch. So many of these people are totally whacked.

Thousands of years, and they are still so whacked. I want to leave them alone to their thousands of years, but that's irresponsible because people like them are so vulnerable to dictators.

"But if there is religion left, it is among the Kurds."

The third section, Kurdish Spring, actually seemed hopeful. I'm happy for them; in fact, I want to visit them. I wonder if that's possible?

On a technical note - an amazing documentary. I'm surprised at the intrusiveness of the filming - it's so personal, the quality of the film/sound is outstanding, and how real it feels.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

February 27, 2007
[font=Century Gothic]"Iraq in Fragments" is a revealing documentary in three parts about the three main peoples of Iraq - the Sunnis of Baghdad, the Shias of the South and the Kurds - chronicled from the perspective of the citizens, most memorably from 11 year old Mohammed in Baghdad. Each group reacts differently to the fall of Saddam Hussein and the American invasion. Baghdad seems ambivalent; the Shias having been repressed for decades now are rising in power and militancy while the Kurds rejoice simply in their new freedom. But they all unite in one wish - the end of the American occupation.(Some voice the opinion that the Americans invaded Iraq for oil.) Also seen are the reactions towards democracy and the revelation that it will not solve all of the country's problems. [/font]
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