Screen/Society--Special Events--"Ahlaam" ("Dreams")
(Mohamed AI-Daradji, 2006, 110 min., Iraq, in Arabic w/ English Subtitles, Color, Digital)
-- Introduced by miriam cooke, Braxton Craven Professor of Arab Cultures (AMES).
Scarred Baghdad 2003... confusion, uncertainty and death engulf the bombed ruins of a Psychiatric asylum. Voyeuristically we move between the past and the present of three Iraqi lives entangled by the chaos of the American 'Shock and Awe' campaign...
Mohamed Al-Daradji returned to Iraq shortly after the American invasion of Baghdad. There he found heartbreaking chaos and was particularly disturbed with the sight of numerous psychiatric patients wandering on the streets as the hospitals were being destroyed by the bombings. The experience served as the germ for what would be Mohamed's first feature film, Ahlaam, and the second Iraqi feature produced since the fall of Saddam Hussein. It was filmed on location in Baghdad in 2004.
Sponsors: The Duke University Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC), the Novel Project at Duke, the Program in Literature, the Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI), AMES Presents, and the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI).