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Son of Babylon (2009)

Syn Babilonu (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 11 February 2011 (UK)
A willful young boy follows his just as obstinate grandmother in a journey across Iraq, determined to discover the fate of her missing son, Ahmed's father, who never returned from war.

Director:

Mohamed Al Daradji
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12 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shazada Hussein Shazada Hussein ... Um Ibrahim (as Shehzad Hussen)
Yasser Talib Yasser Talib ... Ahmed (as Yassir Taleeb)
Bashir Al Majid Bashir Al Majid ... Musa
Salih Abdul Rahman Farhad Salih Abdul Rahman Farhad ... Mahmood
Kefaya Dakhee Kareem Kefaya Dakhee Kareem ... Um Fatima
Mohammed Hussen Jbara Mohammed Hussen Jbara ... Qasim
Haythem Abass Haythem Abass ... Razak
Yazy Hassin Hasoon Yazy Hassin Hasoon ... Woman Snging
Asmaeel Al-Matri Asmaeel Al-Matri ... Sheikh of the Mosque
Raad Azoeer Raad Azoeer ... Baghdad Bus Driver
Sayyed Hassin Al-Mosawi Sayyed Hassin Al-Mosawi ... Baghdad Bus Driver Assistant
Lateef Maouat Al-Asadi Lateef Maouat Al-Asadi ... Baghdad Coach Station Man #1
Raheem Radi Raheem Radi ... Baghdad Coach Station Man #2
Shwala Atia Shwala Atia ... Baghdad Coach Station Woman #1
Najat Mansour Najat Mansour ... Baghdad Coach Station Woman #2
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Storyline

A willful young boy follows his just as obstinate grandmother in a journey across Iraq, determined to discover the fate of her missing son, Ahmed's father, who never returned from war.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

Arabic | Kurdish

Release Date:

11 February 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Son of Babylon See more »

Filming Locations:

Iraq

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$150,100
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Iraq for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011. See more »

Crazy Credits

The following text, in Arabic and English, appears after the film and before the credits on three separate screens.

"Over the last 40 years, more than 1,000,000 men, women and children have gone missing in Iraq.

By April 2009, over 300 mass graves had been discovered containing between 150,000 - 200,000 bodies.

The majority still remain missing or unidentified." See more »

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User Reviews

 
The slightest shimmers of hope will always be around somewhere during the darkest moments in life and pull us through
26 November 2010 | by LinJasonSee all my reviews

Diverting away from the usual politically-driven theme, this film of war-torn Iraq seeks fundamental qualities in humanity amidst the very worst situations from the eyes of a grandmother and her grandson in seek of her missing son. The characters have taught us that the slightest shimmers of hope will always be around somewhere during the darkest moments in life and pull us through.

Set in the war-hit landscapes of Iraq, we truly get to see the crumbled physical state that the country is left in three weeks after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Location plays a major role in helping to set the foundation of this film that reeks of desolation without a future (notice how barren the lands look without much greenery). From the mass media, we are often brought to the attention of the battle between the US/UN forces and Saddam's regime where a lot of focus are placed on casualty counts and the war development.

This film sets to tell a heartfelt story that will never be heard of by the world.

Ahmed is a naive young boy who is often optimistic about his life and all that surrounds it, despite being able to see with his own eyes the turmoil of his homeland. Everything is fresh to him, from his missing father's occupation as an Iraqi soldier to greeting the US Marines at check points. During the entire span of this film, Ahmed gets to see the world and attains enlightenment at the end of it.

He is not without fears, especially when he is left alone without his grandmother.

Surprisingly when they face threats that serve to undo them with injustice, he gathers courage to step up against the tyranny and correct what is wrong. He has the nerves to confront a bus driver for a fare refund when the bus was unable to bring them to Baghdad. This highly signifies the potential and capabilities of the young Iraqi generation who can help do the right thing and rebuild the nation. Likewise Ahmed's grandmother also looks to him for support and courage while mutually reciprocating the same, which represents the elder generation looking towards and pinning hopes on the younger ones for protection.

After all, they're only left with each other of what's left in the family (or nation rather).

Ahmed's father represents the current working generation that is affected by the cruelties of tyranny and misfortune that have long plagued Iraq. The mass graves discovered are only going to leave a huge trail of grieving families of the dead. I was personally disturbed by the death wailing of the widows at the mass grave sites.

Initially leaving home to seek the whereabouts of Ahmed's father with hopes of him being alive, the plot developments later degenerated into a heart-wrenching situation where they have no choice but to be contended with seeking his remains to bring home. This proves to be an arduous task that is bleak, but it has not deter them a single bit.

During their journey, they meet interesting characters such as a grumpy old pick-up driver who is cynical about everything and reluctant to take concern in others' matters. He condemns Saddam's regime (interestingly by calling him up during his call of nature) and has stopped placing faith in religion after all that has happened. His opening chapter brought quite a bit of humour through his crude sarcasm, I would say.

Ahmed and his grandmother later inspired his love and care to surface.

Another fine gentleman who was coerced into killing innocents during the Anfal (mass massacre of the Kurds) greets Ahmed and his grandmother with kind intentions. It wasn't easy for Ahmed's grandmother to put the Anfal behind and see him as a repented man.

Son of Babylon speaks a lot about embracing forgiveness and moving on towards a better life and future despite current dark moments with a focus on qualities of humanity over hatred and blame. Largely in credit to Director Mohamed Al Daradji, he has done us a great favour as we gain new insights and valuable lessons in life.


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