Reviews

  • Mar 23, 2013

    This movie left me in awe. It's rawness is poignant and catches perfectly what must be the mood of an invaded city.

    This movie left me in awe. It's rawness is poignant and catches perfectly what must be the mood of an invaded city.

  • Mar 10, 2012

    The movie is not much itself, but it seems a miracle you can make a movie in Irak, about Irak situation, in such that situation. More relevant as testimony of modern Irak than as piece of art. It looks that you could have done a great work with the same plot if you had more budget, more experienced artists, and not such a chaotical situation around.

    The movie is not much itself, but it seems a miracle you can make a movie in Irak, about Irak situation, in such that situation. More relevant as testimony of modern Irak than as piece of art. It looks that you could have done a great work with the same plot if you had more budget, more experienced artists, and not such a chaotical situation around.

  • Jun 04, 2011

    liked the cinematography, but the second half dragged on

    liked the cinematography, but the second half dragged on

  • Jun 19, 2010

    Another great film from Iraqi director Al-Daradji about a psychiatric institution bombed by American forces in Baghdad that focuses on three people - a woman patient distraught from having her wedding interrupted when her fiance was dragged away, a shell-shocked soldier and an idealistic doctor. Their back stories are slowly revealed as we go back and forth from the past to them dealing with their present dangerous situation. The continuity of the story telling is astonishing given the restrictive filming situation. Not a pleasant tale, but a war zone is always a messy unpleasant affair.

    Another great film from Iraqi director Al-Daradji about a psychiatric institution bombed by American forces in Baghdad that focuses on three people - a woman patient distraught from having her wedding interrupted when her fiance was dragged away, a shell-shocked soldier and an idealistic doctor. Their back stories are slowly revealed as we go back and forth from the past to them dealing with their present dangerous situation. The continuity of the story telling is astonishing given the restrictive filming situation. Not a pleasant tale, but a war zone is always a messy unpleasant affair.

  • Aug 06, 2009

    Hits right in the eye of the storm, a mental hospital in war torn Bagdad in 2003. After a relatively peaceful opening, things turn bleak, as they did in the production of this movie on location. When the shadows strike, be they US bombs or Iraqi state police, they do so unexpectedly, swiflt and with serious consequences. A sensitive, people-centred treatment of harrowing subject matter, shining a light into rarely seen places. The representation is all the more powerful as it comes from the inside out. An ironic twist where Iraqis appear to have been cast as American soldiers, presumably cos real Americans were light on the ground.

    Hits right in the eye of the storm, a mental hospital in war torn Bagdad in 2003. After a relatively peaceful opening, things turn bleak, as they did in the production of this movie on location. When the shadows strike, be they US bombs or Iraqi state police, they do so unexpectedly, swiflt and with serious consequences. A sensitive, people-centred treatment of harrowing subject matter, shining a light into rarely seen places. The representation is all the more powerful as it comes from the inside out. An ironic twist where Iraqis appear to have been cast as American soldiers, presumably cos real Americans were light on the ground.

  • Jul 27, 2009

    Important film about Iraq that was filmed in the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion (the director was kidnapped during the filmmaking). It's portrayal of the lives of ordinary apolitical Iraqi citizens is heartbreaking (if somewhat overacted). Important as a historical artifact as much as for the filmmaking.

    Important film about Iraq that was filmed in the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion (the director was kidnapped during the filmmaking). It's portrayal of the lives of ordinary apolitical Iraqi citizens is heartbreaking (if somewhat overacted). Important as a historical artifact as much as for the filmmaking.

  • Apr 22, 2008

    I found this film very disturbing, but then given what it is about - I would be worried if I didn't! It is very much worth watching, with great performances by pretty much everyone in it. The fact that it was actually shot in Baghdad means that it has a very real feel to it, which makes it even more shocking. There were a couple of very violent scenes, but it wasn't gratuitous. I needed a strong drink afterwards!

    I found this film very disturbing, but then given what it is about - I would be worried if I didn't! It is very much worth watching, with great performances by pretty much everyone in it. The fact that it was actually shot in Baghdad means that it has a very real feel to it, which makes it even more shocking. There were a couple of very violent scenes, but it wasn't gratuitous. I needed a strong drink afterwards!

  • Feb 29, 2008

    Good but shocking. Set in the Iraq before and during the yank invasion. It criticizes the war from various points of view. It is not pro-Saddam or pro-America. There is no goods or bads, just victims of an unfair situation.

    Good but shocking. Set in the Iraq before and during the yank invasion. It criticizes the war from various points of view. It is not pro-Saddam or pro-America. There is no goods or bads, just victims of an unfair situation.

  • Dec 21, 2007

    An effective insight into the impact on individual lives of the chaos in Baghdad.

    An effective insight into the impact on individual lives of the chaos in Baghdad.

  • Nov 15, 2007

    As you'd probably expect, given the circumstances of its production, the film is ragged around the edges. Nevertheless, there is some very strong material in here. The Baghdad location shooting, difficult as it may have been, pays off handsomely: it absolutely feels like a report from the front lines, and I'm assuming Al Daradji didn't have to go too far to find the smoke and rubble which make up the substantial part of his mise-en-scene.

    As you'd probably expect, given the circumstances of its production, the film is ragged around the edges. Nevertheless, there is some very strong material in here. The Baghdad location shooting, difficult as it may have been, pays off handsomely: it absolutely feels like a report from the front lines, and I'm assuming Al Daradji didn't have to go too far to find the smoke and rubble which make up the substantial part of his mise-en-scene.