Rad film I just saw
"This movie is not just my dream...
it is a dream for all Iraqi people," stated filmmaker Hayder Daffar before a packed theater in Austin, Texas. His first week in America and Daffar had already crossed over ten states on the four day road trip out to the World Premiere of his first feature documentary, The Dreams of Sparrows. Joining Hayder on this rugged screening tour were all of the American filmmakers who had for the past two years donated their time and energy to make this dream - an independent Iraqi film production company - come true.
"All artists, in Iraq or in the world, don't care about anything ... just looking for beauty in this world ... and truth." - HAYDER DAFFAR
After the capture of Saddam, DAFFAR'S search for the truth takes him through all walks of life in Iraq, into the arts and culture of Baghdad, drawing the viewer into powerful encounters with Iraqi painters, writers and filmmakers. As the film continues, the interviews veer towards the politics of occupation and resistance, concluding with the battle over Falluja and the devastating death of one of the crew members. In somber self interviews made following the production, the filmmakers reveal the dramatic changes in their beliefs caused not only by the situation in Iraq, but also by the process of documenting it.
This film is dedicated to SA'AD FAKHER, Iraqi producer and friend killed during the production. The Dreams of Sparrows is the first historic documentary from the iraqEYE GROUP, a colloboration between American and Iraqi Filmmakers.
Through the eyes of Iraqis, in "The Dreams of Sparrows," we can finally divine what emerges from the war's digestive tract...From Baghdad's necropolis of slums and nightmarish refugee camps we travel with Daffar to its middle-class apartments, artists' hangouts, mosques and the headquarters of the Communist Party. This is a city of armed men and of stylish women nervously chain-smoking in their apartments; a city where children studying in a private school hold up crayon drawings and say, "Here the tank is aiming at the helicopter, and they exchange shells and rockets." - Tom Bissel, The New York Times Magazine (link)
Detroit, Michigan - The Detroit Film Center, June 25th link
Minneapolis, MN - Bell Auditorium, July 1 - 7 link
Arab American Film Festival September 23-Oct 2 link
book your own HOUSE PARTY screening of Dreams
Fresh Ink - Wired.com article of Dreams
Jason Silverman writes about several docs that challenge the US media's portrayal of the situation in Iraq, focusing on The Dreams of Sparrows. link