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Running Time:
1 hour, 30 minutes

Rating: Unrated

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
No matter how you feel about the situation in Iraq, this documentary offers genuine insight into the general state of mind of the Iraqui people and their reactions to the American occupation.

Additional Info:
DVD Features:
16:9 anamorphic transfer, enhanced for widescreen televisions; "Abu Ghraib Inspection" - 15 minutes of additional footage; Original theatrical trailer; English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired; Production notes and updates

My Country, My Country
Working alone in Iraq over an eight month period, director/cinematographer Laura Poitras has created an extraordinarily intimate portrait of Iraqis living under U.S. occupation. Her principal focus is a busy Sunni doctor - Dr. Riyadh, father of six and Sunni political candidate. An outspoken critic of the occupation, he is equally passionate about the need to establish democracy in Iraq, arguing that Sunni participation in the January 2005 elections is essential. He only becomes discouraged when he learns that many Sunnis are planning to boycott the election. Dr. Riyadh sees only chaos all around him, as his waiting room fills each day with patients suffering from the physical and mental effects of ever-increasing violence.

More than two years after the invasion, the electricity still goes on and off in the Riyadh household, and the sound of bombs and gunfire still rattles the family peace. Dramatically interwoven into the personal story of Dr. Riyadh are scenes of the US military occupation, the Australian private security contractors, American journalists and the UN officials who have been sent over to administer the elections.

The American solders that are shown are mostly seen getting briefings about how they need to be on constant alert because of the growing anti-American sentiment or trying to deal with the loss of their buddies. Unfolding like a narrative drama, this documentary follows the agonizing predicament and gradual descent of one man caught in the tragic contradictions of the U.S. occupation and its philosophy of spreading democracy throughout the Middle East.

The film tries to present a balanced portrait of the difficult situation, but it doesn't avoid including a scene of Dr. Riyadh visiting Abu Ghraib Prison where he sees a prisoner who’s only 9 years old. But the film never bothers to investigate why there are children being held there. The only other bit of editorializing has been saved for the closing credits, which list some sobering numbers on the occupation and the so-called successful election.

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