Laura Poitras: My Country My Country

This review has been written by Georg Bocher, direction student at the Zelig Documentary film School in Bolzano:

The first two minutes leaves no doubt about the scope of this documentary. It is between the most private family life and the utterly official, namely the U.S. military administration in Iraq.
These aspects of life in Iraq today interwoven through the preparation of the upcoming first election take the audience on the personal journey of Dr. Riyadh who is medical doctor, Sunni candidate and a family father.

Slowly the viewer catches a glimpse on the dimensions and deep roots of the catastrophy in Iraq. The last word one comes in mind in this country – with no electricity and security – is democracy. Still everybody talks about it. At least about the strategic appearance of it. And this is where the film triumphs, because it is direct and intimate, it doesn’t settle for empty words, instead it shows human beings in situations of extraordinary force and culture clash:

Like when the U.S. Instructor is briefing the Iraqi policemen for the election day, saying : “ You [folks] have the front row of one of the best shows that’s gonna be in the world.” A policemen asks irritated: “Why do you say show? ”

The film is the end of an occupation in Iraq. A journey from dark kitchens to the helicopter cockpits.

USA, 2006, 90 mins.

http://www.mycountrymycountry.com/

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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