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4.6
387 Ratings

Homeland (Iraq Year Zero)

Homeland (Irak Année Zéro)

Directed by Abbas Fahdel
France, Iraq, 2015
Documentary
  • Arabic
  • English

Synopsis

For several months, director Abbas Fahdal filmed a group of Iraqis, mostly members of his family, just before the outbreak of the Iraq War in 2003. The daily lives that have been captured are surprisingly familiar: a summer outing on the river, cartoons on TV, bickering, birthday celebrations.

Our take

One of the crucial films about America’s invasion of Iraq, Abbas Fahdel’s long, completely engrossing and deeply personal saga provides an essential perspective. In our critic’s words, it is “unprecedented in that it shows the daily reality of those on the receiving end of our humanitarian wars.”

Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) Directed by Abbas Fahdel
It’s this span of time, along with the complete, slow-burn immersion into Fahdel’s extended family, that helps grant the film it’s marvelous time-capsule quality, a monument to fortitude and perseverance illuminating the often unseen costs of war.
December 09, 2016
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It’s the best film I’ve seen about the disastrous US invasion and occupation of Iraq. At five-and-a-half hours long, Homeland will likely test the endurance of even the most hardcore cinephiles. Yet every second of that runtime is meaningful, with Fahdel documenting verite-style on home video his Baghdad family’s fear and tension-relieving levity as they prepare for the 2003 American bombing and ground assault that unseated Saddam Hussein’s dictatorial regime.
October 04, 2016
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Homeland: Iraq Year Zero is a two-part, five and a half-hour home movie that, if seen as widely as it should be, could serve as a crucial historical corrective… While showing casual catastrophe, and using a truly heartbreaking technique of revealing with text onscreen the fates of characters that we come to know, Fahdel goes well beyond the cliché of putting a human face to war.
January 18, 2016
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