Film

Film

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As partisan in its right-leaning way as Fahrenheit 9/11 and a good deal less forthright about it, Voices of Iraq comprises footage shot by Iraqis from April through September of this year using DV cameras distributed by its producers. Shrewdly structured, the film seems designed to preempt any suspicions of propaganda early on with material critical of the American occupation—there’s wrenching footage of a woman crying over a family accidentally shot by soldiers. But Voices quickly betrays its political slant, simplistically juxtaposing dire American newspaper headlines with upbeat images meant to discredit them. The middle section recounts the horrors of Saddam’s regime, and by the end we’re being treated to talk from a government minister about Iraq as a beacon of Mideast democracy that could have come from a Bush stump speech. It’s certainly important for American leftists to consider that many Iraqis have benefited from the war that we oppose, but the omission of historical context here misrepresents the checkered history of American involvement in the region. And any film that credits itself as “filmed and directed by the people of Iraq” deserves to be regarded with skepticism.

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