Filmed and directed by the Iraqis themselves -- thousands of them, from all walks of life, all over their country. The producers, who distributed more than 150 digital video cameras across ... See full summary »
Filmed and directed by the Iraqis themselves -- thousands of them, from all walks of life, all over their country. The producers, who distributed more than 150 digital video cameras across the country, condensed more than 400 hours of footage into an unprecedented, and startling, look at life in a war zone. It's a new genre of filmmaking. Written by
I had never been motivated to submit a comment before seeing this film and reading the IMDb comments about it. The movie portrayed such a different attitude within Iraq than I expected that I could hardly wait to see what others had to say about it. The first thing I noticed in reading the comments was how some used their "comment" as a forum to attack "the left" rather than discuss the merits of the film. Those from the left suggested that this film may only show one side of the story.
Sitting here in the USA, I have been frustrated by being unable to know what the real story is inside Iraq, so I was anxious to see this film. As others have said, it is definitely worth watching. It is an intimate, revealing and touching portrait of Iraqis and what it is like to live in Iraq. However, as I watched the film I couldn't help wondering who had made it and how accurate it is.
While it is suggested or implied that all of the footage contained in the film was shot by private Iraqi citizens, this is not actually the case. The film also includes archival footage of torture and genocide perpetrated by Saddam Hussein and his regime. In addition, newspaper headlines are shown at different times during the film that appear to be designed to show how different the newspaper accounts were from what the film is showing. I'm not saying that any of this was inaccurate but it added subjectivity to the film that went beyond Iraqis expressing their views "in their own words" and "telling their own story" as the promo material suggests. To me this "editorializing" suggested and revealed a specific bias in the film.
Furthermore, promotional material for the film states that "the producers of Voices of Iraq distributed over 150 digital video cameras across the entire country to enable everyday people - mothers, children, teachers, sheiks and even insurgents - to document their lives and their hopes amidst the upheaval of a nation being born." This is not really accurate. While the film does contain video footage of mothers, children, teachers and sheiks that was shot for the film, as stated, the video footage of "insurgents" was not shot for the film but shot by the insurgents themselves for their own purposes, whatever those may have been. Furthermore, the insurgent footage was not an interview at all but rather footage only of someone's hands wiring a bomb. Contrary to what was advertised, no information or opinion from the insurgent perspective was included in the film at all. Regardless of whether it is right or wrong, this is a significant perspective but one that was not addressed in the film and is not often addressed in Western media.
All in all, I thought the movie was interesting and informative but couldn't help wondering what was contained in the 400 hours of footage that were left on the cutting room floor. As someone else said, I suggest that you watch the movie, do your own research and draw your own conclusions. For a different perspective on this situation watch "Control Room."
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