Six months in Iraq, culminating in the national election on January 30, 2005. We watch logistic preparations for the election, with UN, US, Australian, and local personnel unsure if the election will be held as scheduled, bracing for violence and for world attention. We also cut back and forth to Dr. Riyadh, a Sunni physician who practices at the Adhamiya Free Clinic and prays at the Abu Hanifa Mosque. He's an Iraqi Islamic Party candidate for the Baghdad Provincial Council; he visits Abu Ghraib prison and speaks out. We meet his wife and daughters: the family is cheerful, ironic, and droll. Will his party participate in the elections? Will he vote? Is his family safe? Written by
The saddest thing about My Country, My Country is that the people who need to see this the most (those people who think that Americans are liberators in Iraq and those who think Iraqis are ignorant babies who cannot govern themselves and are better off under American occupation) are the exact people who will never go and see it.
My Country, My Country is a documentary about Iraqi society in the months leading up to the historic elections on January 31, 2005. Director Laura Poitras follows a doctor from Baghdad who's running for City Council, the United Nations team who will organize and monitor the elections, and a private security firm from Australian that's hired to oversee the security and safety of the elections.
Dr. Riyadh is an amazing man. Not only does he work for a free clinic in Baghdad, and not only does he help his friends and neighbors by giving them money when they need it, but he also goes to the Abu Ghrabi Prison Camp to speak with the prisoners and learn about their health problems and living conditions. He's a soft-spoken man, but a smart and compassionate man the kind of man you want to see in a position of power in Baghdad.
So the good news is that there are intelligent people in Iraq who are more than capable of governing their own country. The bad news is that this war has made their lives hell. Two months before the elections and Baghdad is in ruins, with no running water and no electricity. Families don't go out for fear of being killed, and rightfully so. One day before the election, a friend of Dr. Riyadh's is a wreck because his son has been kidnapped and the extremists want ransom money to pay for more weapons.
The good news is that, despite the death threats and warnings from extremists, millions of Iraqis went out and voted on January 31, 2005. The bad news is that Dr. Riyadh didn't get elected to the City Council. The good news is that the kidnapped son was returned a few days later. The bad news is that over a year and a half later, the war wages on with no end in sight.
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