The Mesopotamian Marshes, at the delta of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, in the south of Iraq. This is where Mastour and Zahra grow up. Shortly after their marriage, Mastour and Zahra are... See full synopsis »
In Paris outskirts Blanche, a young clerk, befriends Lea, a girl livelier than she is. Lea is going steady with Fabien who is a friend to Alexandre who is going steady with Adrienne but is ... See full summary »
Part I: BEFORE THE FALL (duration: 2h40m) : For several months, the director filmed a group of Iraqis, mostly members of his family, in their expectation of the war. This first part of the film ends with the start of U.S. strikes on Baghdad. Part II: AFTER THE BATTLE (duration: 2h54m) : Americans invades Iraq and the film shows the consequences of this invasion on the daily life of the characters. The film ends with the violent death of one of the main characters: the nephew of the filmmaker, twelve years old boy Haidar.
We feel that this film, certainly one of the most important of recent years, was made by the author-director with a mixture of pleasure and pain: the pleasure of filming his country and his loved ones, and the suffering of seeing the country delivered to chaos and violence, a violence that some relatives of the director will be the first victims. Taking us from Baghdad to the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Abbas Fahdel, the director, ran great risks by making this film and was also facing a personal tragedy. More than just a beautiful and moving saga, his film is a necessary and a reference work to understand the history and present of the Middle East. This fresco of 334 minutes immerse us in the life of an Iraqi family - the director's family - for two years: before and after the US invasion. The film exposes, with the breath of a saga, the tragedy and the dignity of the Iraqi people in moments of great intensity. It also draws a sensitive portrait of a country over whom we had so far a simplistic vision, forged by two decades of media lies and propaganda. The stereotypes promoted by the medias leave room for real people : men, women and children who become very familiar. Combining the family romance epic novel, scenes of everyday life and the chronicles of war, the small and the great History, the film enters our consciousness to the point of making us feel like we share the lives, fears and hopes of the protagonists.
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