The Dreams of Sparrows (2005) UNRATED · 1h 14min · Documentary · 15 March 2005
The Dreams of Sparrows follows first time Iraqi director Hayder Mousa Daffar and his team of contributing directors as they share their vision of life in Baghdad, post war and pre reconstruction. It is his attempt to reconcile the conflicting points of view among Iraqis regarding the war, Saddam Hussein and the occupation; the process of which ultimately changes him and his crew irrevocably. The Dreams of Sparrows is dedicated to Saad Fahker, Associate Producer who died during the production. In the first act we meet Hayder Jabbar, one of the several Iraqi directors chosen by Daffar to contribute to the documentary portrait. After explaining his involvement in the project, Jabbar insists on thanking his savior George Bush, who he loves. Jabbar's convictions at the beginning of the film, contrasted with the bleak and often painful subjects of interview, introduce the essential divide within Iraqi psychology that the movie follows as it develops from the aftermath of war, the capture of Saddam and the realization of occupation. The discourse is maintained through an inquiry into the arts and culture of Baghdad, drawing the viewer into intimate and powerful encounters with Iraqi painters, writers, filmmakers. As the production continues, the interviews increasingly veer towards the politics of occupation and resistance, concluding with the reclaiming of Falluja by local militias and the devastating killing of one of the crew members. In somber self interviews made following the production, the filmmakers reveal the dramatic changes in their characters and beliefs, changes caused not only by the situation in Iraq, but also by the process of documenting it. This movie is the first feature documentary project from the IraqEye Group, a collaboration between American producers and Iraqi filmmakers with the goal of revitalizing Iraqi cinema within the international cinema community. - Written by Aaron Raskin
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