Homeland: Iraq Year Zero

Directed by Abbas Fahdel

Release Year: 2015
Running time: 334
Country: France
Language: Arabic
Genres: Documentary
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Screening Info
Directed by: Abbas Fahdel

Part 1: 160 minutes, Part II: 174 minutes
 
In February 2002 - about a year before the U.S. invasion - Iraqi filmmaker Abbas Fahdel traveled home from France to capture everyday life as his country prepared for war. He concentrated on family and friends, including his 12-year-old nephew, Haider, as they went about their daily lives, which had come to include planning for shortages of food, water and power. No strangers to war, the Iraqis thought they understood what was coming, and could even manage to be grimly humorous about what they felt would likely be a major and lengthy inconvenience. And then, the war began. 
 
When Fahdel resumed filming in 2003, two weeks after the invasion, daily activities have come to a near standstill, the city is overrun with foreign soldiers, and many areas of Baghdad had been closed off to ordinary citizens. Iraqis endure, seemingly as unwitting as Americans themselves about what further tragedy awaits. Fahdel's epic yet intimate film paints a compelling portrait of people struggling to survive while their civilization, dating back to ancient times, is destroyed around them. 

Reviews

“...this transformative verite glimpse into the lives of everyday Iraqis demands both patience and empathy to sit through, but the reward is worth every second.”

Peter DeBrugge, Variety
 

“The most significant work of art to come out of the Iraq war”

Huffington Post
 

"A mesmerizing and deeply moving portrayal of the Iraq War as seen by Iraqis, Abbas Fahdel’s six-hour masterpiece is essential viewing for anyone hoping to understand the devastating implications of the US-led invasion."

France24
 

Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) – Abbas Fahdel; Right Now, Wrong Then 

Melissa Anderson: 19 Best Movies of 2015 (as published by The Village Voice)
 

Awards

Best Documentary - Carthage Film Festival

 

Best Feature Film - IBAFF International Film Festival

 

Doc Alliance Selection Award - Locarno International Film Festival

 

Grand Prize, Best International Feature - Montreal International Documentary Festival

 

People's Choice Award - Montreal International Documentary Festival

 

Grand Prix, International Feature Film Competition - Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival

 

Citizens' Prize - Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival

 

Grand Prize, Best International Feature -Visions du Réel

 

Jury Prize - Milano Filmmaker Festival

 

Public Award - FICUNAM, Mexico

 

Best Feature Film Award - DMZ Film Festival, South Korea

 

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