Iraq In Fragments (2006, James Longley)

Maybe it’s because the Tara never properly focused the projector, but we didn’t like this so much. Thought it had its moments, and was an interesting idea for a documentary, done in a unique way, but with the unfocused images and the erratic editing (“kinetic” if you ask the imdb reviewers), I felt like I did at Mondovino… wanted to look away from the screen or close my eyes, and just rent it later.

The director says: “Iraq in Fragments illuminates post-war Iraq in three acts, building a picture of a country pulled in different directions by religion and ethnicity. Filmed in verité style with no scripted narration, the film explores the lives of ordinary Iraqis to illustrate and give background to larger trends in Iraqi society.”

First section follows a Sunni kid in Bagdhad with narration by the kid himself, getting beaten and tossed around and trying to hold down a job. Second section has more of a wandering focus, with a religious Shiite group planning strategies in a smaller city. Third section is in a rural area, with Kurdish farmers and brick-makers, again focused on a boy with his narration.

Katy didn’t like the way parts one and three had a personal focus and part two wasn’t about one person. I did like the variety, would’ve maybe preferred a third approach for the third section instead of bookending with two young kids talking about their dim futures.

Would have to see again, either on video or in focus.

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