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Sharon D. Allen,
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Iraq in Fragments illuminates post-war Iraq in three acts, building a picture of a country pulled in different directions by religion and ethnicity. Filmed in verité style with no scripted narration, the film explores the lives of ordinary Iraqis to illustrate and give background to larger trends in Iraqi society. Written by
This documentary does what no other film I've seen has been able to accomplish: It shows the world of real Iraqis on the ground. In breathtaking photography we are guided through three different "fragments" of life in Iraq, in Baghdad, the south and the north of the country. What emerges is a portrait of beauty and complexity, revealing aspects of Iraq and the effects of war and occupation that we never see in this country. But the film is not overtly political, and is difficult to pin down. Instead of being an opinionated political essay like the work of Michael Moore, IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS sticks to the idea of showing the situation without adding political commentary and opinions from the filmmaker. We never hear director James Longley's voice in the film, but we see the world of Iraq through his perceptive camera work and patient skills as a documentarian. This film is truly unique, a work of stunning cinematic quality, both current and timeless in its themes.
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