Offering a uniquely smallscale view of post-Saddam Iraq, writer/director Mohamed Al Daradji’s festival favourite follows a headstrong young lad (Yasser Talib) and his grandmother (Shazada Hussein) on their search for the boy’s father, who’s been missing since he was forced to sign up for the Iraqi army.
This aside, the war isn’t featured heavily and almost no troops appear in the film, whose focus is on the quieter but no less profound threat of silent, unreported genocide.
Talib makes a vivid impression in his debut performance, embodying both a childish zeal for life and a growing awareness of just how dangerous his world is.
Sparse, tender and hypnotically moving.
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