Was lucky to see this fabulous, yet difficult to watch, documentary made by the Iraqi Zaradasht Ahmed last night at a private screening. The doc was screened the previous night at the U.N. I was able to speak with him after the screening. The doc took six years to make from 2011 thru 2016. It follows the real life story of a male nurse Yuri as he goes about trying to survive in Central Iraq after the Americans pulled out. He lives with his wife and four children. Life gets more and more difficult due to the increasing tribal war battles and finally when ISIS comes, he has to leave his home as they destroy his home and town and the hospital he works in. He then goes to a temporary box car shelter where he has been living for over three years.
In speaking with Mr Ahmed it was clear that he is a man of faith and hope. The war he has experienced from first hand emergency room experience is hard to fathom. Filming daily suicide bombing and car bombings injuring scores of people each time, was his daily diet. I asked him about his own trauma making the movie. He has suffered along with the victims. Some of the money he earned from this internationally acclaimed documentary he gave back to his cast to help them build a home to live in.
This part of Iraq is a godforsaken desert where food and water in normal circumstances is a tricky venture, but in war it is impossible. I admire his courage and fortitude and hope his nomination for best documentary comes to fruition.