Son of Babylon

Two weeks after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Ahmed, a 12-year-old boy begrudgingly follows in the shadow of his grandmother deep into Iraq in seach of his missing father.
Country: Iraq, UK Runtime: 88 Director(s): Mohamed Al-Daradji
Cast: Bashir Al-Majid, Shehzad Hussen, Yasser Taleeb

A willful young boy follows his just as obstinate grandmother in a journey across Iraq, determined to discover the fate of her missing son, Ahmed’s father, who never returned from war.

This film sets to tell a heartfelt story that will never be heard of by the world.

FILM FESTIVALS: Winner BIFA Raindance Award, Raindance Film Festival 2010

RAINDANCE REVIEW:

Set in Iraq, shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, Son of Babylon tells a story about this turbulent time for the country that was shared by many. We follow Ahmed, a young boy and his grandmother, as they travel from the Kurdish north deep into the country’s barren, war-torn landscape in search of his father who has been missing since 1991. A desperate adventure, their journey is shared here and there with many other characters who help them along the way. Each character has a different connection with the recent events and each has a different story to tell.

In a remarkable performance by Yassir Talib, Ahmed’s character shines out against an arid, desert backdrop as a boy on the cusp of adulthood, full of energy, wonder and innocence. As the search for Ahmed’s father unfolds, the dark secrets of Saddam’s time are slowly revealed to a population in disarray. Abruptly faced with the country’s undocumented history of death and violence, we watch as the consequences of Saddam’s regime shape Ahmed‚Äôs childhood.

Son of Babylon offers an insight into Iraq beyond what we may be familiar with as a foreign audience through news coverage. We are shown the daily hardships endured by those who are trying to rebuild their lives whilst conflict still surrounds them. Son of Babylon may well be one of the definitive films to deal with Iraq’s recent history.