War, Love, God and Madness
Filmfest 2008

"I fled to Holland in 1995 when I was only 16, following the murder of my cousin who was a political activist. After Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003, I travelled back home to Iraq. I found heartbreaking chaos, and psychiatric patients wandering the streets of Baghdad, as hospitals were being destroyed by bombing. This inspired me to write the feature length film, AHLAAM. We filmed under highly unstable conditions, throughout the 55-day shooting schedule. We were exposed to shootings, abductions, torture and imprisonment both by insurgents and by the Americans. Despite a go-ahead from the coalition and a guard of Iraqi police, I found myself carrying an AK47 in one hand and my camera in the other. Myself and 3 other members of the crew were kidnapped, beaten and threatened with execution by Baa'thists before being handed over to the Americans for extreme interrogation. My 15-year-old cousin suffered long-term mental problems from the abuse at the hands of the US forces." Mohamed Al-Daradji

With: Mohamed Al-Daradji, Bashir Al-Majidi, Talib Al-Furati, Nazar Hussein

tags: Documentary


Director: Mohamed Al Daradji