Iraq: War, Love, God and Madness

Mohamed Al-Daradji

Documentary on the making-of of the internationally renowned film Ahlaam by Dutch-Iraqi director Mohamed Al-Daradji (Son of Babylon). The idealistic filmmaker returns to his home country Iraq to make his dream come true under bizarre circumstances.

Ahlaam is the second movie in the post-Saddam Hussein era to be shot in Iraq. The fall of the dictator inspired hope for freedom, and the director wanted his film to make a cultural contribution to this new achievement. However, after 35 years of dictatorship and three wars, unemployment, poverty and chaos still prevail in Bagdad. The documentary film shows the huge risks filmmakers in ‘liberated’ Iraq face. There is hardly any equipment, safety cannot be guaranteed on the set and crew members, including the director himself, are arrested and tortured. Meanwhile, the viewer gets to know the citizens of Bagdad: a boy singing for Saddam, a father mourning his son who was hung, a young actor remembering his time spent in prison and a friend going down the path of chaos.

This road movie is part of the Iraq’s Missing Campaign, an initiative from The Iraq’s Missing Persons Organisation, that was founded by the filmmakers to support the families of missing persons in Iraq:


Mohamed Al-Daradji
Isabelle Stead
Country of production
Iraq, United Kingdom, Netherlands, The
82 minutes
Spoken language
Arabic, English
Production company
Human Film
World Sales
Roissy Films