Ahlaam

  • 110'
  • Iraq
  • 2005
Mohamed Al-Daradji was studying to be a theatre director in Baghdad in 1995 when his politically active cousin was murdered. Al-Daradji fled to Holland. When Baghdad was liberated by the Americans in 2003 and Saddam Hussein imprisoned, he travelled back to his homeland. There, he found heartbreaking chaos. Countless psychiatric patients were roaming the streets after the hospitals had been destroyed. The director spent a few weeks helping the staff of a psychiatric hospital. Inspired by these experiences, he then shot his first full-length film in Iraq - under highly unstable political and military circumstances. The shooting was difficult because of all kinds of technical restrictions. The crew took great risks by filming in authentic locations and mocking up military positions that were then seen by the different parties involved in the fighting as real. The makers were shot at several times and threatened with death. In this insanity, Al-Daradji manages to tell the story of a young woman, Ahlaam. She ended up in an institution after her husband was dragged off violently from their wedding. When the institution is flattened by a bomb soon after, she finds herself on the streets. Here, she was in danger of succumbing to rapists and extortionists. In the meantime, with the aid of the Red Cross and a young doctor, her family are looking for the patients lost in this urban jungle. (SdH)
Director
Mohamed Al-Daradji
Premiere
European première
Countries of production
Iraq, United Kingdom, Netherlands
Production Year
2005
Festival Edition
IFFR 2006
Length
110'
Medium
35mm
International title
Dreams
Languages
Arabic, English
Producers
Iraq Al-Rafidain, Humanfilm, Mohamed Al-Daradji, Atia Al Daradji
Sales
MDC International GmbH
Screenplay
Mohamed Al-Daradji
Cinematography
Mohamed Al-Daradji
Editor
Ghassan Abduall, Ian Watson
Production Design
Hasan Falih
Sound Design
Sefi Carmel
Music
Naseer Shamma
Cast
Aseel Adil, Basher Al-Majidi
Website
https://humanfilm.com/ahlaam