visually artistic statement of the ordeals facing Iraqis today
With the increased access to digital camcorders, everyone and their brother is taking a stab at making their own films. Whereas this fortunately puts movie-making and truth-telling in the hands of the masses, it also creates some amazingly artless although sincere statements. It takes a director like James Longley to remind us that film-making can be an art, that documentaries don't have to be cold talking heads and that form is as essential as content. His lovingly created story of an Iraqi mother tending to her young children, one of them with AIDS, is a beautifully edited and photographed gem. With little dialog, but carefully framed sequences, this short film is more effective than many features. Reminiscent of the early humanist works of legendary documentarist Robert Flaherty, Longley's films should be necessary homework for all budding filmmakers. The tragedy here is that this moving 22 minute film will be almost impossible for anyone to see, unless someone like Sundance decides to pick it up. In the meantime Gaza Strip and Iraq in Fragments might be easier to acquire.
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