Year 2004, operation Iraqi freedom. Iraqi rebels loyal to Shiite leader Muqtada Al-Sadr, launched an insurgency. Karbala City Hall is cut off, leaving inside 40 Poles and 40 Bulgarian soldiers with supplies of food and ammo to 24h fight.
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Year 2004, operation Iraqi freedom ongoing. During the holiday of Ashura, Iraqi rebels loyal to Shiite leader Muqtada Al-Sadr, launched an insurgency. Karbala City Hall is cut off, leaving inside 40 Poles and 40 Bulgarian soldiers with supplies of food and ammo to 24h fight. They defended three days till reinforcement came, killing first night over 80 rebels. Written by
I admit I haven't seen a lot of Polish films. Just Ziarno prawdy, In Darkness, Katyn, Ida... which were very good. And 1920 Battle of Warsaw, which was horrible. This movie isn't as bad as the latter, but comes nowhere close to the former ones.
A typical propaganda piece - humanizing the protagonists, with their relationships, their full spectrum of emotions, family drama and the regular filler material, portraying them as heroes, while dehumanizing the antagonists as radicalized terrorists. "Karbala" toes the western "liberator" line, but isn't as propagandist as American Sniper of late, as European films tend to be less brash & action- oriented, and attempts to be more humanistic.
What ACTUALLY happened was that Iraqi Shiites of Sadr City (named after Muqtada's father who was a prominent Shia cleric) in Baghdad formed self-defense groups to protect their neighborhoods from coalition forces & al-Qaeda-linked insurgents during the post-Saddam power vacuum. These groups were extremely popular, more people joined and expanded across Shiite strongholds such as Najaf & Karbala.
Muqtada Sadr published a newspaper "al-Hawza" that celebrated Saddam's fall, but criticized the coalition for the occupation & infringing Iraqi sovereignty. This angered the coalition and they attacked his office & kidnapped his aide, which prompted the groups to rally protests. These protests were crushed brutally by coalition forces, and THAT is when they took up arms.
Now, the place Karbala is *very* holy to Shiites as it was the scene of the massacre of Husayn ibn Ali and his followers. No amount of empathizing by westerners can help them to fathom it's significance. Obviously this is where the resistance to the occupation was strongest, and Iraqi Shiites from across the nation poured in to prevent desecration of their holy site.
What makes this movie suck (for me) is it's attempt at misinformation - specifically, equating Shiite self-defense groups to al-Qaeda terrorists (who consider Shiites as apostates who need to be genocided). It doesn't offer anything that typical war propaganda movies don't. Maybe just the fact that there are Bulgarians in this :-D.
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