Operation Filmmaker

  • 95'
  • USA
  • 2007
Meticulous and occasionally shocking documentary with all the characteristics of a political and human case study. Can Americans and Iraqis see each other as people?
Soon after the fall of Baghdad in 2003, a young and charismatic film student, Muthana Mohmed, stands in the rubble of the city’s film school and explains to an American television audience that his dream of becoming a film maker has been destroyed - first by Saddam Hussein, then by American bombs. This brief, fortuitous appearance on MTV changes Muthana’s life forever. Watching in the United States, actor/director Liev Schreiber stops channel surfing, utterly captivated. Feeling guilty about a war he opposed, Schreiber decides to extend to the unknown Iraqi the opportunity of a lifetime - to come to Prague to work on an American movie, Everything is Illuminated. On set, frustrated expectations complicate the relationship between Muthana and his American benefactors in what becomes a cross-cultural endeavour gone awry. Film maker Nina Davenport becomes increasingly entangled in the young Iraqi’s life as his visa is about to expire and the threat of returning to Baghdad looms. Operation Filmmaker, revealing on several levels, addresses the power dynamics between the American film maker and her Iraqi subject, unfolding as an engaging parable about the U.S. invasion of Iraq. (GjZ)

Nina Davenport
World premiere
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2007
Betacam Digi PAL
English, Arabic
Nina Davenport, David Schisgall
Nina Davenport
Nina Davenport
Nina Davenport, Aaron Kuhn
Sound Design
Nina Davenport
Sheldon Mirowitz