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Voices of Iraq (2004)

  Links: Voices of Iraq on the IMDb, Official site
Genre: Documentary

This movie gets: 9.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"No Escaping Freedom's Voice" - a review by thestudent

Voices of Iraq is 74 minutes of documentary that makes you question the entire basis of your opinion of the US occupation of Iraq.

Edited together using footage from 150 digital video cameras that were dispersed amongst the wartorn microcosm of Iraq, this documentary gives the viewer a taste of everyday life within the country. Despite my initial misgivings, and suspicions that the film would lean so heavily to one side or another as to topple over, Voices of Iraq tells of a country which is equal parts relieved and scared.

Amongst the talk of the oppresive regimes, industrial shredders used to torture dissidents, and the crippling sanctions, I've always wondered what the lifestyle of an Iraqi is like. The film is at pains to say that 'for the first time in 24 years, the people of Iraq have a voice' and I suspected that the film could be pro-American, and in retrospect it could be alleged that the film is.

Simply presented visions and stories of common Iraqi's lives in the post-US era are presented, with the most common question asked by the camera operator being "Do you think things are better now?", and overwhelmingly being answered with yes, but often with a qualifier of "...but things are too unsafe here now".

One of the most alarming scenes was a man addressing his comments directly to the American viewers of the documentary. He pleads with them to understand that most Iraqis don't care about the abuses at Abu Graib prison, as the victims were the very same people who tortured innocent Iraqis prior to the American invasion. This man was happy to see them suffer.

It was hard not to leave the cinema tarred with the sense that Iraq sees a sun rising over the hill, and that the American invasion, for whatever short term cost, will save Iraq, not destroy it. The documentary never falls into the trap of leading the viewer's hand, but you still wonder more about what they aren't telling you, than what they do.

thestudent gives this movie 9 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 5 Aug 2005

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