IMDb > Operation Filmmaker (2007)

Operation Filmmaker (2007) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   285 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 23% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Contact:
View company contact information for Operation Filmmaker on IMDbPro.
Genre:
Plot:
Soon after the fall of Baghdad in 2003, a young and charismatic film student, Muthana Mohmed, stands... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
3 wins See more »
User Reviews:
What did you think was going to happen? See more (8 total) »

Cast

 

Alberto Bonilla ... Himself
Steven Chinni ... Himself
Nina Davenport ... Herself
Hedwig Herzog ... Herself

Eugene Hutz ... Himself

Dwayne Johnson ... Himself (as Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson)

Doug Jones ... Himself
Muthana Mohmed ... Himself
Peter Saraf ... Himself

Liev Schreiber ... Himself

Elijah Wood ... Himself

Directed by
Nina Davenport 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Nina Davenport 

Produced by
Nina Davenport .... producer
Kristine Pregot .... associate producer
David Schisgall .... producer
 
Original Music by
Sheldon Mirowitz 
 
Cinematography by
Nina Davenport 
 
Film Editing by
Nina Davenport 
Aaron Kuhn 
 
Sound Department
David Ellinwood .... sound
Ian Stynes .... sound re-recording mixer
 
Editorial Department
Matt Bleistein .... assistant editor
Daniel Cantagallo .... associate editor (as Dan Cantagallo)
Will Cox .... colorist
Melissa Mathes .... assistant editor
Marisa Pearl .... assistant editor
Priya Swaminathan .... assistant editor
 
Thanks
Peter J. Dowd Jr. .... thanks
Daisy Gili .... special thanks
Dwayne Johnson .... special thanks
Doug Jones .... thanks
Susan Korda .... thanks
Thom Powers .... thanks
Jan Rofekamp .... special thanks
Julian Rubinstein .... very special thanks
Karen Schmeer .... special thanks
Elijah Wood .... thanks
 

Distributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
92 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
References Doom (2005)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
31 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
What did you think was going to happen?, 9 June 2007
Author: aramgutang from Australia

In this unique documentary, an Iraqi teenager named Muthana is flown from Baghdad to Prague to participate in the filming of "Everything is Illuminated", a film directed by Liev Schreiber. Muthana had been showcased on MTV as an aspiring filmmaker, and Schreiber saw an opportunity to help him out by allowing him to participate in the film-making process, hoping that Muthana would pick up the skills that would help him realise his ambition. Documentary filmmaker Nina Davenport was there to film his experience, probably hoping to capture an inspiring story of the dreams of a disadvantaged youth coming to life. What in fact happened in front of the cameras was a fascinating tale of shattered expectations, disillusionment, cultural divide, pride, denial, bureaucracy and incredible generosity that can only be described as "real life". One of the subjects of the film sums it up best in saying "what the f**k did you think was going to happen?".

As you may have guessed, Muthana didn't fit the producers' idealised image of a boy with a dream and the perseverance and ambition to achieve it when given the chance. It's not that he was, for lack of a better word, bad; he wasn't violent, unsociable, or hateful; he was just an average somewhat apathetic teenager, with the typical misconceptions about how the world works. However, he was facing the inordinate dilemma of whether or not he should return to Baghdad. His father was shown on video categorically telling him not to return, as he was given the chance to start a better life. However, staying in the Czech Republic was not a viable option either, as renewing his visa was becoming increasingly problematic, and he didn't speak the local language. Davenport followed Muthana with her camera long after shooting wrapped on "Everything is Illuminated", chronicling his work as a production assistant for "Doom", which was also filmed in Prague, during which Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson becomes an integral part of the documentary. She continues filming him through his attempts to emigrate to the US and the UK, becoming increasingly less of an observer, and more of a subject of the documentary herself.

I won't reveal any more of Muthana's fascinating story, which remains unsettlingly real despite growing increasingly farcical throughout the film. Many moments are quite comical, with the audience oftentimes laughing at the characters, rather than with them. At times it even borders on being exploitative, but it's difficult to call it that given the generosity of Davenport toward Muthana.

The film provokes a number of questions from the audience, especially regarding Muthana. Was he too proud? Plain lazy? Not as passionate about film-making as people thought? Or was the cultural barrier just too big? Did they just pick the wrong kid? Are those of us in developed countries too presumptuous, ignorant, or disillusioned about the youth in third-world countries? Are they any different from the youth in developed countries, all negative aspects included? Furthermore, the war in Iraq plays a crucial role, with news broadcasts on the war along with footage filmed by Muthana's friends in Baghdad interspersed throughout the film. While it may seem that Davenport was trying to make a statement on the war, the footage is quite pertinent to Muthana's story, and serves primarily as a commentary on how the war is perceived by the different characters. Some of the comments on the war made by Muthana and other Iraqis affected by it are particularly fascinating.

Overall I was very impressed by the film, and I was lucky enough to see it during the 2007 Sydney Film Festival. Though as a disclaimer, I must say that I found it much more easy to relate to than most people would, having grown up as a third-culture kid, living in Prague for over 7 years when I was a teenager, and experiencing first-hand the difficulties of the immigration process in numerous countries. But on the other hand, I think anyone will find a lot they can relate to in this wonderful documentary.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (8 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Operation Filmmaker (2007)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Where is Muthana now? the-lyons-dendotcom
King Muthana the_bilal
A better subject! spifff-1
Where is this film? aernest
Interview with Nina Davenport psuedoK
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
About Baghdad The Blood of My Brother The Boys from Baghdad High Amreeka Shut Up & Sing
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Documentary section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.