Screening date: 23-11-2007 -- 17h45
Iraq, My Country

Hadi Mahood fled persecution in Iraq in 1991 and settled in Melbourne, Australia. He was in exile for fourteen years. In the tumultuous months between the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime and the installation of a new government, Hadi journeys back to his home town of Samawa in southern Iraq. He documents the violence and volatility of a city in chaos, a city left in a vacuum of power. We see the new Iraq through the eyes of Samawa's citizens. Such as 15 year-old Ahmed, a boy forced to trade bullets in the local weapons market and Magid, the locally-renown "wise fool" of Samawa.

Iraq, My Country presents the complexities of massive social, economic and political change in human terms. As tensions between the newly imposed democratic structure and the fundamentalist Islamic forces are played out, we are shown an insider's view. Filmed throughout 2003 and 2004, Iraq, My Country is an intimate, personal view of an ordinary Iraqi town in turbulent times.

Country: Iraq/Australia
Production: Film Camp Pty Ltd - Philippa Campey
Year: 2005
Director: Hadi Mahood
Cinematography: Zaiad Turky
Editing: Ken Sallows
DigitalBetacam    couleur    52 mn

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Hadi Mahood was born in Samawa, in southern Iraq. He studied film direction at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad and at Baghdad University. He made several films in Iraq in the 1980s, including The Bird Seller and Al Muhamra, a documentary about a city caught in the Iran-Iraq war. Between 1988 and 1990, he worked as an assistant director in the Department of Film Production at Baghdad Television. In 1990, Hadi wrote and directed The Drowned, a documentary based on confidential information from the Iraqi police files. In 1991, he fled persecution in Iraq and worked with the Iraqi Opposition radio in Saudi Arabia. In 1997, following his arrival in Australia, Hadi directed a stage play entitled "Night Traveller" , a 30 minute drama entitled Madness , as well as two documentaries, Sumerian Hymns, and Ashoraa. He also worked at the Arabic Broadcasting service and directed a segment of the UN Media Peace Award-winning documentary series, Dying to Leave. Since completing Iraq, My Country Hadi has returned to Samawa.

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