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Ahlaam Review

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Documentary about psychiatric patients who find themselves alone on the wild streets of Baghdad after their institution is destroyed.

★★★★★

Mohamed Al-Daradji and his crew were abducted and tortured by both insurgents and US forces during the making of this harrowing story about psychiatric patients who find themselves alone on the wild streets of Baghdad after their institution is devastated during the 2003 invasion.

Its starkly authentic images of a city reduced to chaos were filmed with a single camera that viscerally contrasts the confusion of Aseel Adil (whose fiancé was arrested during their wedding) and the reckless courage of Basher Al-Majidi (who is still traumatised by a bombing raid from 1998) with the despair of medical student Mohamed Hashim, who has to rescue his charges from the lawless brutality of post-Ba’athist emancipation.

A starkly authentic, shocking and compelling documentary.