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Return to the Land of Wonders (2004)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 38 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 2 user | 5 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

Moving between the political sphere and everyday life on the streets, this film offers a unique glimpse into the resilience of Iraqis as they struggle to sustain their lives and to fight off a sense of despair and defeat.

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Title: Return to the Land of Wonders (2004)

Return to the Land of Wonders (2004) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Storyline

Soon after the 2003 Iraq war, filmmaker Maysoon Pachachi returns to Baghdad after 35 years. She accompanies her father, 80-year Adnan who has returned to head a committee drafting a temporary constitution and Bill of Rights. We follow this tortuous process, with its arguments over wording changes demanded by Washington or compromises to satisfy sectarian interests. Moving between the political sphere and everyday life on the streets, this film offers a unique glimpse into the resilience of Iraqis as they struggle to sustain their lives and to fight off a sense of despair and defeat. Written by AFD

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Genres:

Documentary | War

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Release Date:

27 April 2004 (USA)  »

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$5,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
The Rio/SP FilmFests' Unofficial Critic's Note:The best doc. about the Iraqi conflict, hands down, 2 thumbs up!
15 October 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Again, it is odd to me that this outstanding documentary, which has been shown internationally, several times at the Rio Film Festival last month alone, has NO user comment. So, I will again contribute my two cent's worth; perhaps to help those of you out there to determine whether this film is for you or not.

If you're interested in the current Iraqi conflict (the film documents events of 2003 and 2004), the film is definitely for you. If you'd like an easy to follow, not CNN/BBC style, but rather a deeply personal account about Iraq, and events leading to free elections and a new constitution, the film is also highly recommendable. If you just like documentaries in general, with particular interest in the world's most current events, you can't miss this.

Apparently, it's a made for TV commentary. But it is unlikely to air on any mainstream American, British or "coalition country" cable channel anytime soon. Not that this is a stridently anti-American or anti-British film by any means, but it tells and shows us CNN, BBC, TV5, FOX News, Deutsche Welle, and other cable and satellite news watchers many things we all ready know or suspect, ... and then some.

The documentary is almost entirely narrated in excellent English. It is basically presented by the experiences of a very traditional family. They were very rich and influential in pre-1967 Iraq - and probably still very rich in Britain, where they've been exiled for 37 years or so.

The father now returns as one of the top exiles asked to work on the new, proposed Iraqi Constitution. His highly educated daughter returns with him, to accompany her aging father, and of course to make this documentary.

She exceeds any expectation of an impartial, well made account of the situation in her work. Her re-encounters with former family friends and servants, as well as pictures and tales from that now-disappeared Iraq add a sense of legitimacy, realism, and intimacy I have not seen yet - in fact I don't think such an insightful, personal and impartial doc about Iraq yet has been made. And I've seen quite a lot about Iraq.

If documentaries, or the subject matter interest you, run to see it. You won't regret it.


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