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"P.O.V.: My Country, My Country (#19.12)"
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"P.O.V." My Country, My Country (2006)

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Overview

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7.2/10   370 votes »
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View company contact information for My Country, My Country on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
2 June 2006 (Season 19, Episode 12)
Genre:
Plot:
The director follows a Sunni Arab doctor as he prepares to run for the early 2005 elections in Iraq. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
User Reviews:
Forget politics - this is real people See more (5 total) »

Cast

 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)
Dr. Riyadh ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Aaron Castle ... Himself
Scott Farren-Price ... Himself
Renato Gonclaves ... Himself
Andre Remmers ... Himself
Edward Robertson ... Himself
Kristopher Scarcliff ... Himself
Peter Towndrow ... Himself
Carlos Valenzuela ... Himself
Edward Wong ... Himself
Richard Armitage ... Himself (uncredited)
David Brancaccio ... Himself - Host (uncredited)
María Hinojosa ... Herself (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Laura Poitras 
 
Produced by
Rosie Bsheer .... associate producer
Sally Jo Fifer .... executive producer: ITVS
Jocelyn Glatzer .... producer
Aliza Kaplan .... co-producer
Cara Mertes .... executive producer: P.O.V./American Documentary
Laura Poitras .... producer
John Siceloff .... executive producer
Brenda Breslauer .... producer (uncredited)
Anthony Chapman .... executive producer (uncredited)
Na Eng .... associate producer (uncredited)
Jocelyn Glatzer .... executive producer (uncredited)
Gina Kim .... host producer (uncredited)
Dan Logan .... associate producer (uncredited)
Peter Meryash .... producer (uncredited)
Karla Murphy .... associate producer (uncredited)
Bryan Myers .... producer (uncredited)
Martha Spanninger .... senior supervising producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Kadhum Al Sahir 
 
Cinematography by
Laura Poitras 
 
Film Editing by
Kathi Black 
David Brancaccio 
Larry Goldfine 
David Kreger 
Erez Laufer 
Laura Poitras 
Judith Wolff 
 
Art Direction by
Sabina Daley 
 
Production Management
Michael Fallon .... post-production supervisor: Post Works
Vito Hughes .... post-production supervisor: Magno Sound & Video
 
Art Department
Brian Brunius .... art (uncredited)
Ben Chappel .... lead developer (uncredited)
Lenny Drozner .... designer (uncredited)
Brian Santalone .... pagebuilder (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Rob Daly .... sound designer
Paul Josephs .... sound recordist: Fort Bragg
Paul Michael .... sound mixer
Paul Michael .... sound re-recording mixer
Laura Poitras .... sound
Peter Tierney .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Dennis Martin .... camera operator
Mark O'Neill .... camera operator
Laura Poitras .... camera operator
Jesus Roldan .... camera operator
Peter Tierney .... camera operator
 
Editorial Department
Stefanie Dworkin .... assistant editor
David Gauff .... on-line editor
Jocelyn Glatzer .... demo tape editor
Tim Hedden .... colorist
James Monohan .... assistant editor
Adriana Pacheco .... demo tape editor
 
Music Department
Douglas J. Cuomo .... music theme (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Omar Al Dewachi .... translator
Muna Al-Khalidi .... translator
Josh Braslow .... technical advisor
Christian D. Bruun .... title designer: DitleyFilms (as Christian Bruun)
Rosie Bsheer .... translator
Elizabeth A. Corradino .... legal council: Moses & Singer
Brian Epstein .... production assistant
Ahmed Ferhadi .... linguistics consultant
Tom Giebel .... web designer: Root IQ
Amelia Green-Dove .... senior production associate
Alexandra Haggiag .... production assistant
Hind Hajder .... translator
Dirar Hakeem .... translator
Yasmine Hanani .... translator (as Yasmine Hannaney)
Azad Karim .... translator
Liliana Kim .... office manager (uncredited)
Albert Larew .... web designer: Root IQ
Christopher Laskey .... title designer: Mafno Sound & Video (as Chris Laskey)
Brian Lee .... technical director
David Magdael .... publicist (uncredited)
Amanda Margulies .... production assistant
Amanda Margulies .... researcher
L. Mohamed .... translator (as L Mohamed)
James Monohan .... technical advisor
Chris Murphy .... production intern
Leslie Norman .... executive in charge
Fadi Sakr .... translator
Stephen Segaller .... executive in charge
Afaf Stevens .... translator
Paige Stevenson .... bookkeeper
Sarah Tofte .... production assistant
Sarah Tofte .... researcher
Suzie Tofte .... production assistant
Suzie Tofte .... researcher
Khadijah White .... production assistant
May Yaacoub .... translator
Winston Emano .... publicist (uncredited)
Alexandra Haggiag .... production team (uncredited)
Chris Murphy .... production team (uncredited)
Anne Stulz .... publicist (uncredited)
Khadijah White .... production team (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Mustafa Adil .... in memoriam
 

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Marc Weiss  creator

Produced by
Lisa Heller .... executive producer
Suzanne Singer .... executive producer (1995-1996)
Marc Weiss .... executive producer
 
Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Runtime:
90 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Sound Mix:
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Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) (TV)See more »

FAQ

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Forget politics - this is real people, 24 July 2006
Author: Chris_Docker from United Kingdom

Sometimes when a very different culture is in the news, there can be a bombardment of ideology, attention-grabbing news clips, and death reported as a daily occurrence. It can become difficult to imagine the folk of that country as ordinary people the same as you or I, reasonable, trying to do their jobs and maybe make sense of the world around them, or having normal, caring interaction with their families. How can you get to the point of recording that honestly on film, especially if just being there may influence what you are told, and also carry the risk of getting your head blown off? To intrepid documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, this was apparently no obstacle. She spent hours and hours not just with policy-makers but with one particular family until they trusted her so much she could just wander into their living room and capture conversations unheeded. No crew, just her and a translator.

My Country, My Country follows the period of the January 2005 Iraqi elections, and especially through the eyes of one man, a Dr Riyadh, who operates a free medical clinic in Baghdad. Poitras maybe felt that, by focussing on a doctor, she could minimise political overtones in the film - someone who is educated, a family man (he has six children) and in a job where the day to day struggle of helping the sick probably takes priority over all else. If she has achieved this lack of political judgementalism however, it is in no small part due to looking and finding the best motives, arguments, realistic assessments and good will, on all sides. Remarkably, there is no attempt to portray anyone in a bad light. At a time when many people are asking, "How can we improve the situation," rather than allocating blame, using the best examples of what exists already is not a bad starting point.

My Country, My Country has no voice-over. The starting point of the film is when his wife asks him, "Are you going to vote?" and we sense that the question is a heavy one. They have just eaten breakfast together (with no electricity), but the flashback that is the rest of the film shows the emotional tensions that such a question involves. The journey that we take with the Riyadhs is both traumatic and enlightening.

As we travel through his increasingly battered life in horribly battered Baghdad - the capital of a country he genuinely loves - we are struck first of all by Poitras' camera-work: we are used to footage of Iraq that simply concentrates on war reportage, so it is immediately refreshing to see professional work that instead pays attention to composition, light and shade, and the use of colour. It feels fresh and intimate as the lens explores the shattered city and broken architecture, people's expressions or the beauty of nature and a simple shepherd with his flock on the hills. This cleverly allows us to 'get a feel' of the place in a way that we are not used to when it comes to Iraq.

Persuaded perhaps by friends and patients, Dr Riyadh decides to stand for election in a minority party. When the day comes he naturally wants his family to turn out and vote as well. Yet it is amid an atmosphere of death threats and assassinations. The insurgents have promised that those who turn up to vote will become rivers of blood. As each of the family returns from the polling booth, they excitedly display the ink-marked finger. There is a mixture of pride, daring, adrenalin-fuelled excitement at the new experience, plus an admission that they hid the inkstain on the way back in case it prompted an attack.

In an earlier scene, Riyadh's adolescent daughter, bubbling about merrily (as teenagers do), is thrown off guard by a rocket exploding nearby, and doesn't know whether to run and see it or hide in the cupboard.

The real bombshells though are emotional ones. A fellow physician is visiting, telling the family how his son has been kidnapped that morning. He told the American soldiers, who were very sympathetic. In between his account, he is repeatedly trying to phone the kidnappers but can't get through. Suddenly he realises that the phone had been left between attempts on and the conversation overheard. The insurgents tell him he will be killed.

Equally moving is the time when Riyadh goes to the fence of Abu Ghraib prison and realises there is a nine year old boy being held captive. Or the time when an American officer, briefing his men, remembers to mention two of his team who have been lost: at first it seems like he is following form, but then his voice cracks and he breaks down for several moments, controlling emotion with difficulty as he says, "They are with us every day." Tears are shed, and they are not tears of fanatical fervour. My Country, My Country, is not a film about hotheads: it is a chance for us to follow the conversations and understanding of intelligent, well-meaning people on all sides, and their efforts (sometimes superhuman).

Dr Riyadh's daughter has voted - for the first time in her life - her excitement and youthfulness suggests the hope of a new beginning. The haunting words of the title song cry plaintively: "My country, my country, I yearn to see you smile some day. When will sadness set you free?" Of all the films I have seen out of Iraq so far, I cannot think of one that has moved me so much.

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