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Iraq In Fragments review

Shot by American director James Longley over a two-year period following the US invasion of Iraq in April 2003, this haunting documentary doesn’t take the usual perspective of the occupying forces, but instead goes behind the headlines to explore everyday life from the vantage point of ordinary Iraqis.

The title reflects the film’s three-part structure, with one chapter focusing on an 11-year-old mechanic in Baghdad, the second on a follower of the Shia religious leader Moqtada al-Sadr in the holy city of Najaf and the concluding part dealing with a Kurdish farming family from the north.

Along with the remarkable access gained by Longley to his subjects, what makes Iraq In Fragments so distinctive is its impressionistic and at times lyrical imagery - and as an elderly character so presciently observes of the foreign occupation, “If it is like this in the beginning, what will the end be like?”

 

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