Synopsis by Mark Deming
Filmmaker James Longley offers three thumbnail sketches of Iraq as the nation struggles to its feet following the American Invasion in this documentary. In the film's first chapter, Mohammed Haithem is an 11-year-old forced to make his own way in Bagdhad after the disappearance of his parents. Mohammed earns his keep working in an auto-repair shop, though he would prefer to go back to school, and has developed a precocious cynicism about the presence of U.S. troops along with a fear of the ongoing battles between Sunni and Shia forces. Elsewhere, the struggle of the Kurdish people of Iraq is personified in a handful of people working together on a farm, where they tend crops, make bricks, and look to their blighted past as well as hoping for a brighter future. And the fundamentalist Shiite cabal of Moqtada Sadr is profiled as they travel from Najaf to Naseriyah, promoting government based on a strict interpretation of Muslim law. As Moqtada Sadr's military cadres enforce the rule they have set down, they clash with American soldiers, further dividing an already polarized populace. Iraq in Fragments was screened in competition at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
disenchantment, ethnic-groups, Iraq, occupation [military], post-war, religious-conflict, uncertainty