82 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 40 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
Life Arts   

Occupied Elections: Review of 'My Country My Country'

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   5 comments
Message Rady Ananda
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

Producer Laura Poitras; Zeitgeist Films, 2006. 90 mins.Winner: Inspiration Award, Full Frame Film FestivalOfficial Selection: Berlin International Film Festival; New Directors New Films Festival; and SxSW Film Festival


Nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Academy Awards

Filmmaker Laura Poitras follows the life of Iraqi activist, Dr. Riyadh, in war torn Baghdad for eight months, culminating in the military operation of the January 30, 2005 election. She films this against the backdrop of a town without water or electricity, of children being imprisoned at Abu Ghraib, of political kidnappings and ever-increasing violence.  

Hope and his own moral compass guide the physician, despite the ongoing war.  Some of what he deals with is shocking. An additional 15 minutes of footage covers the August 2004 inspection of Abu Ghraib, three months after the torture photos were released internationally. 

Dr. Riyadh led the inspection by Baghdad City Council, and it is during his interaction with Abu Ghraib prisoners that his patience falters.  Some of the prisoners take out their frustration on him, prompting him to finally respond: 

“We are an occupied nation with a puppet government!  What do you expect?”  Winning the hearts and minds of these souls – thru sexual and physical abuse – must be a dream in the mind of a psychopath. 

The most shocking part is to see a 9-year-old boy imprisoned by the U.S. government – in its quest to “bring democracy” to Iraq.  Entire camps within the compound were erected to hold juveniles which military personnel claim age from 14 to 17.  Whether that boy was 9 or 14, he is too young for prison.  These “dangerous people” are alleged to be “ID-makers.”  The teens claim they are homeless, and were arrested for sleeping in the street. 

We watch Dr. Riyadh care for patients breaking under the pressure of ‘life during wartime.’ Through his eyes, and the eyes of his family, we glimpse the acceptance of violence as a part of life. But it is in this acceptance we glimmer the indomitable human spirit, of some who choose life, charity, and support of one another, in the face of a twisted, sadistic domination.   

Poitras shows how differently this brutal domination impacts Iraqi citizens.  Some use guns or bombs to fight the occupation, which Dr. Riyadh sees as suicidal.  Yet, his wife thinks his activism is suicidal.  Thru her, we see others who accept whatever power is in power, however they arrived. 

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Rady Ananda Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend