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Operation Filmmaker

Operation Filmmaker (2008)

tomatometer

91

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 33
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 3

Operation Filmmaker is a darkly funny, ironic tale of a cross-cultural exchange gone wrong.

94

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 1

Operation Filmmaker is a darkly funny, ironic tale of a cross-cultural exchange gone wrong.

audience

75

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 551

My Rating

Movie Info

Touched by the plight of an aspiring Iraqi filmmaker whose dreams of working in Hollywood seemed to fall with Baghdad, American filmmaker Liev Schreiber invites the ambitious wannabe director to intern on Everything Is Illuminated, to unexpected results. In 2004, just one year after the United States launched a devastating attack on Baghdad, MTV ran a story about a 25-year-old Iraqi film student named Muthana Mohmed, who remained determined not to let the strife that consumed his country consume

Dec 16, 2008

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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (3)

If learning about other cultures shows that we're all basically alike, Operation Filmmaker is a reminder that foreign countries have their own share of nitwits, too.

July 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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What might have been a vanity project emerges as a surprisingly complicated morality tale.

June 30, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
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Everyone here comes out smelling bad -- that's why the film's so good.

June 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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This gut punch of a documentary will knock you for a loop.

June 13, 2008
Rolling Stone
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An exit strategy in Iraq? This self-aware study shows how hard it'll be.

June 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
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The whole film could be seen a metaphor for America's misadventures in Iraq: Schreiber and company came in expecting flowers and sweets from a grateful native, and wound up in a quagmire.

June 6, 2008 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What the film really spotlights is a cultural clash violently, awkwardly resisting the tenuous unifying powers of art. The Westerners -- including Davenport -- see in Muthana the protagonist.

February 17, 2014 Full Review Source: Stop Smiling
Stop Smiling

Nina Davenport's unapologetically cunning doc exceeds the sum of its parts to become almost unmanageably allegorical and even an indictment of its own shock-and-awe premise.

August 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Particularly fascinating is the way in which it this documentary examines the filmmaker's relationship to the film's subject, and the role documentary filmmakers play in shaping their subjects' futures.

June 27, 2009 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

Wickedly ironic and often moving.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

The antagonism between filmmaker and subject reminds us that reality is never a passive still life, but a volatile entity with its own ideas on how it is to be represented.

July 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Davenport focuses deep on the Hollywood do-gooder mentality and her own complicity in treating Mohmed as a symbol of the war and not as a flawed person.

July 18, 2008
Salt Lake Tribune

It's fearless filmmaking. And the surprising observations about cultural differences and insights into the movie production process make the whole thing worthwhile.

July 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Veteran documentary filmmaker Nina Davenport parses an ill-conceived experiment in cross-cultural understanding that began with the best intentions.

June 6, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

As the story of an exasperating, manipulative, lazy and entitled young man, it's one for the books.

June 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Despite the dubious moral of the film and on-the-fly camera technique, it is interesting to watch the pathetic story unfold.

June 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for Operation Filmmaker

Fascinating doc on a fledgling filmmaker squandering opportunity and stranded by global politics.
April 3, 2008
wbgoose13

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