Film Archive

Sections (Film Archive)

Doc Alliance Selection 2015
Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) Abbas Fahdel

A long-term chronicle of family life in Bagdad before and after the Iraq war. The attempt to live a normal life in war. An intimate, intense and stunning saga.

Homeland (Iraq Year Zero)

Documentary Film
Iraq
2015
334 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Abbas Fahdel
Abbas Fahdel
Abbas Fahdel
Abbas Fahdel
Abbas Fahdel
In 2002, a year before the U.S. invasion, Abbas Fahdel began to film his family in Bagdad. His 12-year-old nephew Haidar was sure about one thing: you don’t have to go to school in a war. Everyone seemed to be waiting, nobody knew what to expect. In 2003, a few weeks after the official end of the fighting, Fahdel returns – the joy about the U.S. invasion has given way to a strong sense of disillusionment and chaos.

An intense chronicle of ordinary life in a war without showing the war itself.

Lina Dinkla

The Black Flag

Documentary Film
Iran,
Iraq
2015
62 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Majed Neisi
Majed Neisi
Mahvash Sheykholeslami
Majed Neisi
Mani Hashemian
October 2014, the Shiite militia attack a small town in Southern Iraq that’s occupied by IS terrorists. Among the militiamen is the Iranian director Majed Neisi, armed with his camera. “Black Flag” is a rough, direct and extraordinarily authentic film about a war of whose reality we have no idea.

Take the fighters, for example: volunteers who are Shiite believers following their religious leader’s fatwa, untouched by doubt. They take the director to the seat of the former IS Sharia court. People were condemned here, decapitated there – “our cause is just”. Or the logistical problems: where do you get explosives, missiles, ammunition? A price is negotiated on the phone, 400 dollars for 1,000 rounds. A private donator pays. And finally the attack: the militia must move through a dense palm grove. There’s shooting and screaming everywhere, grenades hit, mines are dug out with bare hands, a bulldozer cuts a swath through the trees. The camera, always in the wake of the fighters, can hardly follow the chaotic events. Suddenly it’s over and the dead are carried away.

This is not war reporting but documentary work at the limit. For, as the director says, what else can he contribute to the fight against ISIS? He deserves the highest respect for this.

Matthias Heeder