Iraqi Odyssey

Samir
Germany, Switzerland, UAE, USA 2014 | 163 Min. | OmU
Q&A with: Samir

The lives of the mem­bers of Samir’s Iraqi family – pro­tag­o­nists in a ver­i­ta­ble odyssey now living in the dias­po­ra – pro­vide the film­mak­er with an oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore the his­to­ry of the Arab world beyond the clichés. The direc­tor intro­duces us to rep­re­sen­ta­tives of sev­er­al gen­er­a­tions of a sec­u­larised, also reli­gious, but always pro­gres­sive bour­geoisie and reveals a whole Arab uni­verse that would seem to have been for­got­ten. We revis­it the Ottoman era, the years of the British Man­date estab­lished by the League of Nations, the bid for inde­pen­dence, the takeover by the Baath Party and the country’s rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion under Saddam Hus­sein, as well as the West’s shared respon­si­bil­i­ty in the col­lapse of large parts of this world. Samir’s rel­a­tives are scat­tered all over the planet. They miss their home deeply. Samir’s father, who decid­ed to return to Iraq, was killed during the Iran-Iraq War. The film’s direc­tor has devel­oped a crit­i­cal if ambiva­lent regard for Switzer­land where he grew up; he now sees his home as an exam­ple of the more or less tol­er­ant co-exis­tence of very dif­fer­ent people and cul­tures. (Berli­nale)

 

Films: u.a. MORLOVE -ODE AN HEISENBERG (1986), FILOU (1988), ALWAYS & FOREVER (1991), BABYLON 2 (1993), FORGET BAGHDAD (2002), SNOW WHITE (2005).