THE BLOOD OF MY BROTHER goes behind the scenes of one Iraqi family's struggle to survive amidst the carnage of the growing Shia insurgency. Nineteen-year-old Ibrahim dreams of revenge when his brother is shot and killed by an American patrol. With scenes of fighting and death on the streets of Baghdad, this is the closest most viewers will ever come to being in Iraq; kneeling in prayer amidst a thousand Muslim worshipers, feeling the roar of low-flying Apaches, riding atop a sixty-ton tank, driving with masked resistance fighters to attack American positions, fleeing the threat of an overwhelming response, the blood in the street, a tank on fire, or the cold, distant stare of a dead Iraqi fighter. Written by
This movie was made during a time when an American could still make a movie there. I doubt any movie like it will be made again.
I totally commend the director for taking the risk and making a movie that creates a bridge between Iraqis and we Americans.
I just saw this at our Dubai film festival and the audience had a number of Arabs, including some Iraqis. They gave the director a hard time for what they felt was a one-sided, mostly negative, portrayal of Iraqis. They also criticized him for giving a generally favorable portrayal of the American soldiers. (They did praise him for his accurate portrayal of the religious rituals which they said was rare in cinema.) He countered that he shot what he experienced and tried to remain faithful to that. By the end, the ones that hung around seemed somewhat convinced by this.
But, as an American, I appreciated that he focused on one-story rather than try to give some large-scale sweeping analysis of Iraq, even if that might have been more "balanced."
On the way out of the theater I mentioned the hard time people gave him and he said something interesting... he appreciated the passionate feedback by Arabs, even if negative, much more than the indifference he gets from Americans.
That's so sad! This is a movie that lots of Americans should see -- especially those who supported this war.
PS: I'm giving this movie six stars because, well, it's no Gone with the Wind or Citizen Cane. However, I can honestly say it is the best movie I've seen about a real family in Iraq. Of course it's the only movie I've seen about that. And, for that, this director deserves very high praise, indeed.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?