Directed by Samir
Tracing the emigrations of his family over more than half a century, this riveting documentary epic from acclaimed expatriate Iraqi filmmaker Samir pays moving homage to the frustrated democratic dreams of a people successively plagued by the horrors of dictatorship, war and foreign occupation of Iraq.
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★★★½ review by Rakestraw on Letterboxd
Documentary filmmaker Samir's Iraqi Odyssey can best be described as a 162 minute PowerPoint presentation sponsored by Ancestry.com as Samir enlists his aunts and uncles (even a half-sister) to recollect their family's past and along with it, Iraq's past.
The breadth of history (family and country) on display is nothing beyond impressive and engaging. Unfortunately, the documentary style that Samir employs, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Talking-head style recollections while family photos and such appear on screen, fading to reveal more photos, and so on. The film's drab appearance really hampers the information contained within...especially considering it's 162 minutes long.
I will give credit to Samir in his collecting and organizing of the information. Various viewpoints (men and women of various ages and political affilations) all put into context and chronological order.
Thoroughly engaging information-wise not so much visually. Could almost work just as well solely on an audio format save for the historical pictures of Iraq and its people.
★★★½ review by M. Sobhy on Letterboxd
تحت كل مشهد من مشاهد الفيلم الوثائقي يكمن سمير: حكاياته، علاقاته، عائلته، تاريخه، وهو ما يمنح المشاهدين الفرصة لتواصل أكثر حميمية معه. هذا إذن عمل قادر على تقديم حكاية شخصية على خلفية تاريخية وسياسية في أثناء فحصه العلاقة المتأنّية والمعقّدة بين كلا الجانبين.
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