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We Iraqis (2004)
A reference point in the turmoil
15 March 2013
Born in Babylon, Irak, Abbas Fahdel became a filmmaker in France. In 2002, he returned in his native land and made the documentary « Back to Babylon ». One year later, he return again in Iraq to make « We Iraqis », a documentary in which he explore a reality that becomes alien to him. In this new film, Abbas Fahdel shows Iraqis in another light, and he is better equipped than anyone for this task, because he is both an "outsider" and a native son. An Iraqi among Iraqis, he embodies a reference point in the turmoil. His presence and commitment during the years before, his receptivity during those months when everyone was preparing for war explains why his camera is never indiscreet.
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The return of a prodigal son to his devastated homeland
23 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
You can't go home again. Well, everyone knows that, but some prodigal sons can't help trying. The director/narrator of "Retour à Babylone" is one of them. Feeling the call of the homeland, he confesses at the beginning of his film: "The time has become to make peace with that part of myself that remained attached to my homeland and the childhood friends I left behind". Then, as if he has a mission to accomplish, he returns to his devastated country, Iraq, and more precisely in his hometown of Babylon, city of ancient Mesopotamia. Haunted by the guilt often felt by survivors, he goes in search of his childhood friends, and thus discovers that several of them have disappeared during the Iraq-Iran war and the Gulf War, while the survivors have been all ruined by the international embargo against Iraq. In addition to being an emotional testimony about a wretched country, the Proustian pilgrimage of Abbas Fahdel to his homeland has a real poetic and universal value which makes it very interesting to watch.
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