Dedicated to the youth of Iraq, director Maysoon Pachachi’s film offers a glance at the realities of ordinary life in Baghdad, a stark contrast to past Western media portrayals of the 2006 US-led invasion. A raw and powerful display of humanity, Pachachi’s film explores identity and nationalism, and what it means to belong.

Sara, a struggling writer and anxious mother, played by Darina Al Joundi, is the heart of the community. Struggling to write because of the trauma and devastation that surrounds her, she frantically monitors the death toll and uses her skills to help her neighbours translate their pleas to the Americans. Her story is interwoven with those of her neighbours – Dijla who suffers from depression, Mona who lost her children in a past abusive relationship, and a grieving Haider falling into bad company – to name a few.

Through the chaos and destruction, the residents never let their ambitions and desires for the future fade. Yet, they can’t help but contemplate leaving Iraq, and are forced to ask a painful question – who does Baghdad really belong to?

This screening will be preceded by Wholeness, a short experimental animation film from director Sarah Al-Sarraj. 


Supported by Arts Council England.


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