Leaving Baghdad
Leaving Bagdad

Film Title

Leaving Baghdad

Screening:

  • Wednesday 05 October 18:30
  • Friday 07 October 12 Noon
  • All Tickets £10.00/£5.00

Runtime:

85 mins

Director: Koutaiba Al-Janabi Country: Iraq, UK, UAE, Hungary
Writer: Koutaiba Al-Janabi Original Format: DVCam
Dir. of Photography: Koutaiba Al-Janabi Print Source: Koutaiba Al-Janabi
Producer: Koutaiba Al-Janabi, Hanna Heffner
Cast: Sadik Al Attar, Rang Omar, Attila Solymosy

Film Details

European Premiere

Official Selection Feature

Short Synopsis:

Saddam Hussein's cameraman escapes Iraq, hunted by the regime, haunted by guilt and memories, writing letters to his lost son confessing what he witnessed.

Review:

Leaving Baghdad follows Sadik, Saddam Hussein’s official cameraman during the height of his atrocities in the late nineties. When we first join Sadik he has been ousted from the Ba’ath party after his son joins the communist opposition; unable to find out whether his son is alive or dead, and with the sound of fanatical rallies drifting up to his apartment he prepares to flee for his life. Desperate and destitute he moves from country to country, pursued by the Iraqi secret police because he carries evidence and testimony of Saddam’s atrocities.

Suffering from extreme paranoia, loneliness and loss Sadik pens several letters to his missing son. These initially start off as accusations, blaming his son’s political actions for his own fall from grace, but as Sadik’s situation becomes more desperate they become powerful confessionals. The film is also interspersed with the real footage of torture and executions Sadik was tasked with filming. We’ve seen such grim footage before, but by taking it from its CNN context and embedding it in such a clever narrative frame director Koutaiba Al-Janabi gives it a tremendous new force, especially as Sadik’s son could now be sharing a similar fate.

This is a brave film, without a doubt, but it is also an extraordinarily original and potent docu-drama whose narrative and aesthetic risks make it reminiscent of the poetic greats, such as Alain Resnais’ Night and Fog.


Dean Bowman

28 September 2011 Kikah  Leaving Bagdad
09 October 2011 Louise Hector Leaving Bagdad
09 October 2011 Louise Hector Interview - Leaving Bagdad Director

All Tickets for This Screening - £10
Telephone Booking: call 0871 220 6000 and say "Operator' for a human being at the cinema.

Practical Information

Screenings at Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus
19 Lower Regent Street
SW1Y 4LR
London
www.appollocinemas.com

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