The Swiss entry for this year's Academy Awards, Iraqi Odyssey is an epic documentary that looks at Iraq from a single, yet complex perspective.
The family of filmmaker Samir has scattered all over the world, although they remain committed to their shared dream of a democratic homeland. Here's the official synopsis:
Bombs, war, angry bearded men, shrouded sobbing women, shattered cities: this is Iraq as seen through the eyes of the western media these days. These images are juxtaposed with those from the fifties and seventies: films with frivolous music, unveiled women who study, elegantly dressed men in Bagdad, a modern city. How did it come to this?
In this riveting and timely documentary, author and director Samir tells the compelling story of his globalized middle-class Iraqi family who are scattered all over the world. Shuttling between Auckland, Moscow, Paris, London, Zurich, Buffalo, and Iraq, Samir presents a moving homage to the frustrated democratic dreams of a people successively plagued by dictatorship, war, and foreign occupation.
Weaving together the ironic, wistful, and witty testimonies of Samir's relatives with rare documents from private and state archives, Iraqi Odyssey is a riveting epic that creates a genuine people's history of Iraq.
The film will open in New York at the IFC Center and Los Angeles at the Laemmle Music Hall on Friday, November 27, before expanding to cities nationwide in the New Year. Distributor Typecast Films will release the English language version of the film in theaters, while the version that has qualified as the Swiss Oscar® entry for the 88th Academy Awards is in German.
We have an exclusive clip below, in which a young member of the family, now living far away in a cold and wintry location, shares her dream for Iraq.