Monday, January 17, 2005

Falluja on Film: "City of Ghosts"

Click title to link to full story

Guardian Films and Channel 4 News produced a film on Falluja. You can watch the film and read its transcript at the websites of Channel 4 and Journeyman Pictures:

Falluja: The Fall and Fall Out (January 10, 2005)

Fallujah: The Real Fall (January 11, 2005)

The film follows an Iraqi doctor Ali Fadhil, as he interviews Fallujans in refugee camps and inside Falluja itself. It opens with a tragicomic episode:

Fallujah has been closed as a city for two months. Nahida is one of the first Fallujans to go back since the the Americans occupied the city.

She wanted to show me what had been left behind.

"Look at it ! Furniture, clothes thrown everywhere! They smashed up the cupboards, and they wrote something bad on the dressing-table mirror." -- Nahida Kham

She doesn’t speak English so I explained to her what the words mean: "FUCK IRAQ AND EVERY IRAQI IN IT!"

"I knew it. I knew these words were insulting." -- Nahida Kham (emphasis added, January 11, 2005)

Once inside the city, Fadhil "could smell bodies beneath the rubble" (January 11, 2005). Rotting corpses have been "eaten by hungry dogs," the source of "a serious outbreak of rabies" (January 11, 2005). Falluja, once "the City of Mosques," is now "the City of Rubble," where "over 300,000 people have lost their homes" (January 11, 2005) and every Fallujan is required to obtain an ID card from the US military to enter his own city: "They took prints of all my fingers, two pictures of my face in profile, and then photographed my iris. I was now eligible to go into Falluja, just like any other Fallujan" (Ali Fadhil, "City of Ghosts," The Guardian, January 11, 2005). . .


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