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February 09, 2004

The Ultimate Road Movie

I saw 'Marooned in Iraq' this weekend, which is a very remarkable movie. It is basically a road movie, in which two sons join their father in the search for his former wife, who had left him for his best friend, but now has asked him to urgently come look for her. The story takes place at the Kurdish border area between Iran and Iraq, during the time that Saddam has turned on the Kurds, and partly plays in refugee camps and war zones. The movie is amazing in  that you never know what is going to happen next, and there is a mixture between humor, music and drama that will keep you at the edge of your seat.

It is not a flashy Hollywood production where every moment is laid out for optimum effect. And the ending does not produce the closure you may be looking for. But it is well worth viewing if you get the chance. The subtitles clearly only translate about half what is going on, but it is enough to get you the intent of the dialog. There are visuals of the Kurdish mountains that are at times stunning, but the scenery does not appear over-emphasized to the viewer, it is just the way the country is. The music, especially when the sons performs, is very uplifting, even though you have no clue what they are singing about. The movie alternates between moments of joy and laughter and the grim reality of the war against the Kurds, and there are many moments that produce insights into the harsh life of these people, and into their culture, but without glorifying it. Scenes from this movie will definitely stay with you for some time.

PS. Does anyone have a clue what brand of motorcycle Barat is riding?

Posted by Werner Vogels at February 9, 2004 01:10 PM