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   from the issue of February 15, 2007

Ross features Iraq documentary

The Academy Award nominated film, "Iraq in Fragments" by James Longley, opens Feb. 16 at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.


The Ross will host a movie talk on "Iraq in Fragments" with Kimberly Jarvis, an assistant professor of history at Doane College, at 2:45 p.m. Feb. 18. Jarvis participated in the Teaching about Islam and the Middle East seminar in Amman, Jordan.

"Iraq in Fragments" examines the difficulties in post-invasion Iraq in three acts, building a vivid picture of a country being pulled in different directions by religion and ethnicity. The film explores the lives of ordinary Iraqis, who offer thoughts, beliefs, aspirations and concerns that reflect larger issues in the war.

The first part follows Mohammed Haithem, an 11-year-old mechanic in the mixed Shiek Omar neighborhood in the heart of old Baghdad. With his father missing, Mohammed idolizes his domineering boss, working feverishly for approval and affection. Several years behind in school and waylaid by war's intervention, Mohammed is torn between education and apprenticeship. Through Mohammed's eyes we see a growing disenchantment with the U.S.-led occupation, as well as tensions between Shia and Sunni Iraqis.

The second part is filmed inside the Shiite political/religious movement of Moqtada Sadr, traveling between Naseriyah and the holy city of Najaf. As tensions mount inside the country, the film follows the inner workings of Iraqi local politics as the Sadr movement pushes for regional elections and enforces their interpretation of Islamic law.

The final part of "Iraq in Fragments" follows Iraqi Kurds as they assert their bid for independence, rebelling against the past atrocities of Baghdad rule. The push is seen through the eyes of brick makers and childhood friends on a farm south of Arbil.

"Iraq in Fragments," nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary, plays through Feb. 22 at the Ross. For more information, including show times, go online to or call 472-5353.



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