The winning film was announced on August 8 2015 at the Locarno film festival in Switzerland, and it will be screened at this year’s CPH:DOX.
The impact of war events on Iraqi citizens is the centre of director Abbas Fahdel’s new film, Homeland (Iraq Year Zero). The film is divided in two parts, and follows everyday life in Iraq before and after the U.S. invasion.
“Homeland is a masterfully shot and composed family chronicle that gives us an idea of the difficult life under dictatorship and occupation of a family that seeks nothing else than normality,” said the jury in its statement. “While war is looming in the background director Abbas Fahdel shows us how a family is moving closer but is also slowly torn apart”.
The director, who is currently living in exile in France, says on the Doc Alliance website that the norms and values in his country have been turned upside down. “What would have become of me, if I had stayed in Iraq? These were the questions I asked myself with a bit of a frantic and insatiable curiosity,” he adds. Read the full interview with him here.
An essential film
The film gained international acclaim earlier this year by winning the international competition at the Swiss Visions du Réel festival, and has now also been chosen for the Doc Alliance Selection Award. In addition to Homeland (Iraq Year Zero), the jury had to choose between 7 nominees, depicting everything from life on Borneo, in Ukraine and in Serbia, to the tumultuous events in Egypt in 2011.
“Although we watched 3,700 films over the year, this exceptional documentary immediately grabbed our attention for the 2015 edition. This is a work of reference to understand the history and current affairs in the Middle East. This is more than a beautiful film, it is an essential film. It had to be made and it must be seen,” said the director of Visions du Réel, Luciano Barisone, commenting on Homeland on the Doc alliance website. Abbas Fahdel was announced as the winner on Saturday, August 8 2015 at the Locarno film festival, also in Switzerland, in the company of directors of film festivals associated with Doc Alliance, the jury members and film professionals. The film will be screened as part of this year’s programme at CPH:DOX, watch the trailer here.
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership between seven documentary festivals in Europe: CPH: DOX, DOK Leipzig, FID Marseille, Jihlava IDFF, Planete Doc Review, Visions du Réel Nyon and Doclisboa.