Outstanding Leeds based producers Human Film return with a deeply moving and insightful documentary, directed by Mohamed Al Daradji (Ahlaam, Son of Babylon) alongside his brother Atia.
Husham works tirelessly to build the hopes, dreams and prospects of the 32 damaged children of war, under his care at a small orphanage in Baghdad’s most dangerous district. Against this threatening backdrop, with funds running desperately low, the bittersweet dramas of childhood play out: 7-year-old Saif can only remember his dead mother’s name, ‘Mejuda’, as he faces the taunts of other kids in constant playground battles; teenager Mohammed struggles to balance academic life with his search for self-identity ; whilst young Salah fears he may never be able to go to school.
When the landlord gives Husham and the boys just two weeks to vacate, a desperate search ensues. Mohamed was busy travelling, promoting his last film Son of Babylon and its associated campaign for Iraq’s Missing People. In Baghdad, his older brother Atia received a random call from someone desperately seeking donations for an orphanage in the notorious neighbouring district of Al-Sadr.
Compelled by what he had heard, Atia decided to visit the orphanage. There he discovered the remarkable story of 32 children living in a small 2 bedroomed house, established by Husham, an unlikely hero who works tirelessly without state support to shelter and protect them. Atia contacted Mohamed and they decided to document the lives of the orphans over an extended period as they struggled with the consequences of war, poverty and lost parents.
Recommended rating: cert 12.