Four million Iraqis are part of a worldwide diaspora today, and in Iraqi Odyssey the viewer has an insider’s chance to meet some of them. Fans of the award-winning Forget Baghdad, the prophetic documentary that Swiss-based Samir directed in 2002 just before the US invasion toppled the dictator and the Ba’athist regime, will appreciate the insight he brings to this personally tinged story of his own family. Delicately and perceptively, he sheds light on how recent Iraqi history has affected the middle class, resulting not just in a brain drain of talented professionals, but a diaspora of dramatic proportions. In a penetrating film journey, Samir obsessively probes his own family history as it is interwoven with political events. His crisscrossing, globetrotting network of aunts, uncles and cousins - lawyers, teachers, doctors and even a nuclear physicist – are scattered from Moscow to Paris, New York to New Zealand. Along with the chance to get acquainted with three courageous generations who have never shied away from involvement in political life, the film introduces an intellectual, unconventional, open-minded and freethinking family who have all been influenced by Samir’s grandfather, the ’patriarch,’ and his liberal attitude towards women, religion, communism, the army, the arts and more. It’s the kind of extended family one is happy to spend time with on a swift-moving trip through Middle Eastern politics.
Best Asian Film Award @ Abu Dhabi Film Festival 3rd Audience Award @ Berlinale 2015