My Country, My Country
The emotional toll of the occupation of Iraq
From its plaintive title to its melancholy soundtrack, “My Country, My Country” is an appropriately mournful look at the chaos of Iraq under American occupation. Filmed over the course of eight months, from June 2004 to February 2005, this documentary views the run-up to the January elections for the national assembly primarily through the eyes of Dr. Riyadh, a Sunni candidate and physician who runs a free clinic in Baghdad. It is a reflection of the situation in Iraq that the director, Laura Poitras, decided not to disclose the doctor’s last name for the sake of his security, even though it has been made public.
Soft-spoken and dignified, Dr. Riyadh offers medicine, advice and sometimes money to patients traumatized by years of violence and uncertainty. Yet a pall of failure hangs over the film as he tries to dissuade the Sunni leadership from boycotting the elections and argues with the United States military over the incarceration of a 9-year-old boy. Around him the movie teems with American soldiers, United Nations officials and private security contractors, as well as Kurdish militia and mujahedeen. At home his outspoken wife, Samera, and six children wonder if voting will get them killed.
Without comment but with unusual sensitivity, Ms. Poitras, exposes the emotional toll of occupation on Iraqis and American soldiers alike. Nosing around in rubble-strewn neighborhoods and peering through the wire at prisoners in Abu Ghraib, Ms. Poitras and her camera find little to celebrate. “My Country, My Country” may appear to be strictly observational, but its images and structure inevitably question the legitimacy of democracy at gunpoint, leaving us with the feeling that this particular mission is far from accomplished. (J. Catsoulis, New York Times)
My Country, My Country
Sat September 30, 2006, 7:00 & 9:00, Muenzinger Auditorium
USA, 2006, in English, Color, 90 min
10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission.
$7 w/UCB student ID,
$7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.
Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the
Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters
along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.
Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus
International Film Series
(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.
First Person Cinema
(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.
C.U. Film Program
(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil
Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.
C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts
Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.