Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi directed this wartime drama leavened with comedy, which at once examines the Gulf War of the early '90s and offers a prescient perspective on the attitudes and events which (in part) led to the War in Iraq in 2003. It's 1991, and in the wake of the War in the Persian Gulf, Saddam Hussein's forces are laying waste to villages in Iraq and Kurdistan believed to be harboring rebel forces who were attempting to bring down Hussein's regime with the encouragement, but without the military support, of the United States. In the midst of this chaos, Mirza (Shahab Ebrahimi), an elderly Kurdish singer living in Iran, becomes concerned about the safety of his ex-wife and former singing partner, Hanareh (Iran Ghobadi), who over two decades earlier left him to marry another member of their ensemble and move to Kurdistan. Mirza rounds up his sons, Barat (Faegh Mohamadi) and Audeh (Allah-Morad Rashtian), and together they set out to find Hanareh, constantly bickering along the way. While Mirza and his sons witness firsthand the horrible devastation which has been visited upon Iraq by both U.S. bombs and Hussein's bloody reprisals, they also find moments of beauty and humor along the way, and come to better understand the strength of their people under unimaginable adversity. Marooned in Iraq was screened as part of the "Un Certain Regard" series at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
by Mark Deming synopsis