Iraq in Fragments

April 25, 2007

“By April 2003 I arrived back in Baghdad, this time without need of a visa or filming permissions of any kind. The Iraqi border hung open like a door off its hinges. The apparatus of state lay shattered, ministries on fire. All, that is, but the ministries of Oil and Interior. Baghdad had descended into a regime of looting, kidnappings, shootings, bombings, and a deep uncertainty about the future of the country.

Suddenly the flood gates had opened. There was no government in Iraq and I could film whatever I wanted as long as I could stay alive.

My guess was that I would have about a year before either a new authoritarian government would be put in power or Iraq would descend into civil war and become too dangerous to work in. I needed to make my film while it was still possible.”

This Film is one that all Americans and Westerners should see. It is quite literally a man walking around occupied Iraq between 2003-2005, alone, with a camera. He spends equal time in three neighborhoods: Baghdad, the Shiite South, and Kurdish North. The result is incredibly moving, revealing, and the images are beautiful. The most important thing it does however is expose the orientalist/racist inability for the american media and government to humanize the people in iraq, and how this simple monopoly of perception can easily lead to American popular support for such a war, or enough apathy on the part of the American people to not push hard enough for the war’s end. You realize how very few truly revealing pictures you see coming out of the country, how little you know about how the people think, what they want, their daily lives, etc. What we percieve to be the reality of the history of Iraq, the economic and social conditions, and the desires of the Iraqi people has been dictated by American government and media, and blindly accepted by the American people in a post 9/11 environment of fear.

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