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My Country, My Country
My Country My Country
Actor: Dr. Riyadh
Director: Laura Poitras
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
NR     2007     1hr 30min

Working alone in Iraq over eight months, American filmmaker Laura Poitras follows Iraqi physician Dr. Riyadh--father of six and Sunni political candidate--for an unforgettable journey into the heart of war-ravaged Iraq in ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Dr. Riyadh
Director: Laura Poitras
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Politics
Studio: Zeitgeist Films
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/20/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Arabic, English, Kurdish
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Watch this and watch another old 1974 documentary
JustAForeignReader | Major Earthquake Faultline | 02/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"'hearts and minds', then you would know that after we lost the vietnam war, lost so many american soldiers there, the lesson never was learned by those who run our government, president or politicians on the hills. because these people never lost a son or a daughter in a self-righteous and self-serving war. a country full of one kind of people blinded by the 'patriotism' big word, but never understood those invasions and wars got nothing to do with 'patriotism' at all. we invaded other peoples' countries, destroyed their homes, killed their people by first using the excuse of 'fighting the communism' in vietnam, now we just change one word of such slogan, 'fighting the terrorism' to invade iraq. i just don't know who gave us the right to meddle other peoples countries and their lives under the big word of 'patriotism'. what patriotism got anything to do with this godforsaken unjustifiable wars. we ruined their lives but still shamelessly claiming that we're helping them, we're liberating them. we're repeatedly making the same mistakes and tragedies again and again to other peoples and to ourselves. that's why the peoples in other countries when they fought or fignt against us never changed their unique slogan : 'fighting the american imperialism'. and imperialism equals another word in their eyes: 'colonization'.
so far, we americans were blinded by the ridiculous patriotism custom tailored by the corporate friendly government, gave you a false belief that invasion of iraq was justified and the majority iraqi people were so grateful and appreciated what we did to them, by watching this my country, my country, we knew that country is not your country, it's other peoples' country and we absolutely have no right to interfere their own problems. if you are not convinced enough, then you must watch the oscar nominated 'iraq in fragments', to see how the general iraqi people really feel about our 'war on terror(ism)', it'd give you clearer picture what we did to iraq and the irqi people.
why we could never learn?"
Baghdad on the eve of elections . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 04/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Given more recent events in Iraq, this wonderful documentary is already somewhat dated, made as it was during the months leading up to the first democratic elections in that country, but it marks an important moment in history as well and deserves a viewing for that reason alone. The central figure, a medical doctor in a Baghdad neighborhood, Dr. Ryadh is a member of a Sunni party, running for election to the country's new parliament. Tenacious in his commitment to his community, he is pulled in many directions by the needs of his patients, his prospective constituents, his friends and family. His story is played out against a background of continuing gunfire and explosions and an unending stream of complaints from those who have lost faith in the American presence and hope for the future. In one sequence a colleague's son is kidnapped for ransom by insurgents, and we watch as the father despairs of ever seeing him alive again.

Meanwhile, cameras visit other parts of the country, including Kurdistan, where anti-Sunni and pro-American opinion prevail. We also follow the months of behind-the-scenes preparation for elections and the precautions taken by contracted security firms, with commentary by international election observers. Branded by some as a "show" for the benefit of the White House and boycotted by Dr. Ryadh's own Sunni party, the election draws long lines of voters anyway, and we watch with appropriate amazement the risks voters take to participate in a process that is taken so lightly in the West. Assembled in a way more akin than most documentaries to the ideals of cinema verite, the film has no narration and leaves it to the audience to interpret much of what it is viewing. A fine and important work."
An Intimate View
A. Krikorian | Los Angeles | 04/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

""My Country, My Country" is an opportunity to see Iraq through the life of an Iraqi doctor and his family. The camera perspective is personal and I felt as though I was right there with Dr. Riyadh. The airborne scenes and the country vistas complimented the intimate nature of the coverage of the people involved.

The consequences of the American occupation of Iraq are complex. The politics are complex. I didn't feel imposed upon by some moral message, but rather felt I had a chance to see the depth and interrelationship of viewpoints that allowed me to think for myself. This movie did not clear a lot up for me, but rather gave me a sense of familiarity with the people - a chance to see them as real people and not abstractions. I felt empowered by a far more unprocessed opportunity to gather information for thought.

I wholeheartedly recommend seeing "My Country, My Country" to people whose understanding of "Iraq" comes from nightly news reports or newspaper articles. I believe this documentary is an outstanding way to learn more about the circumstances of recent Iraqi history.