Iraqi-Dutch director Mohamed Al-Daradji’s roadmovieportrays the fate of virtually every family in Iraq Two weeks after the fall of Saddam Hussein, twelve-year-old Ahmed and his grandmother decide to go hitchhiking across Iraq, determined to find his father and her son Ibrahim, who never returned from the Gulf War.
Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, over a million people are still missing. Mohamed Al-Daradji, who also directed Ahlaam, gives their relatives an identity.
Son of Babylon follows Ahmed and his grandmother on their journey through inhospitable areas of devastated Iraq. From the mountains in the north to the sandy plains of Babylon in the south, from prisons to mass graves. Along the way, they come across companions in misfortune.
The actors in this Iraqi Oscar nomination for 2011 are local amateurs, who survived Saddam’s regime. Shazada Hussein, who interprets the grandmother, was the only woman to testify in the trial against Saddam.
In 2010, the Iraq’s Missing Campaign started, an initiative of The Iraq’s Missing Persons Organisation, that was founded by the filmmakers. Son of Babylon is part of this campaign, that offers support to the families of missing persons in Iraq. www.iraqsmissing.org