Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: In My Mother's Arms

Gripping documentary about Iraqi orphans should bring attention to a neglected population.

Oct 4, 2012

-By Eric Monder


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1364458-Mothers_Arms_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

In My Mother’s Arms concerns the lives of 32 orphaned boys who reside together and are cared for by a courageous activist named Mr. Husham. Shooting on an obviously small budget, co-directing brothers Atia and Mohamed Al-Daradji ably tell their story. One hopes it will be seen thanks to good word of mouth.

Filmed just before many of the U.S. troops left Iraq, In My Mother’s Arms begins with the charismatic Husham Al Thabe as he searches for and finds homeless youngsters in the bombed-out Al-Sadr section of Bagdad. Later moments feature Husham attempting to get help from the government and raise money from potential donors. Eventually, the documentary follows a handful of the boys (including Saif Slaam and Mohamed Wae), examining how they get along from day to day. There are scenes at both the bustling two-bedroom orphanage and in the busy streets, which still hold danger for all Iraqi citizens.

The most moving section concerns the traumatized Saif’s coming to terms with the loss of his mother and how Husham and Saif’s friend achieve this breakthrough with Saif by sharing the song that gives the film its title.

In cinéma-vérité style without voiceover narration, In My Mother’s Arms gives an immediacy and gritty reality to a painful and sad subject. But thanks to the faith of the filmmakers in Husham and the bravery and resourcefulness of Husham and the children, the Al-Daradji brothers suggest glimmers of hope for the future.

The directors’ larger indictment of war and imperialism will emerge keenly to those aware of the history of the American occupation. Since the film portrays only a minor presence of the U.S. military and mentions the invasion infrequently (pointedly, in a radio broadcast at the beginning), others might lose the larger context while still finding the experience significant as a cinematic cry for help for the most innocent victims of all armed conflict.


Film Review: In My Mother's Arms

Gripping documentary about Iraqi orphans should bring attention to a neglected population.

Oct 4, 2012

-By Eric Monder


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1364458-Mothers_Arms_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

In My Mother’s Arms concerns the lives of 32 orphaned boys who reside together and are cared for by a courageous activist named Mr. Husham. Shooting on an obviously small budget, co-directing brothers Atia and Mohamed Al-Daradji ably tell their story. One hopes it will be seen thanks to good word of mouth.

Filmed just before many of the U.S. troops left Iraq, In My Mother’s Arms begins with the charismatic Husham Al Thabe as he searches for and finds homeless youngsters in the bombed-out Al-Sadr section of Bagdad. Later moments feature Husham attempting to get help from the government and raise money from potential donors. Eventually, the documentary follows a handful of the boys (including Saif Slaam and Mohamed Wae), examining how they get along from day to day. There are scenes at both the bustling two-bedroom orphanage and in the busy streets, which still hold danger for all Iraqi citizens.

The most moving section concerns the traumatized Saif’s coming to terms with the loss of his mother and how Husham and Saif’s friend achieve this breakthrough with Saif by sharing the song that gives the film its title.

In cinéma-vérité style without voiceover narration, In My Mother’s Arms gives an immediacy and gritty reality to a painful and sad subject. But thanks to the faith of the filmmakers in Husham and the bravery and resourcefulness of Husham and the children, the Al-Daradji brothers suggest glimmers of hope for the future.

The directors’ larger indictment of war and imperialism will emerge keenly to those aware of the history of the American occupation. Since the film portrays only a minor presence of the U.S. military and mentions the invasion infrequently (pointedly, in a radio broadcast at the beginning), others might lose the larger context while still finding the experience significant as a cinematic cry for help for the most innocent victims of all armed conflict.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Tracks
Film Review: Tracks

Ably supported by Adam Driver, Mia Wasikowska commands the screen in John Curran’s superbly photographed drama based on a true story. More »

Hollidaysburg
Film Review: Hollidaysburg

Well-observed, empathetic look at friends reuniting over their first college break. More »

The Zero Theorem
Film Review: The Zero Theorem

A noisy, hyperkinetic, visually gorgeous spectacle that tackles the mother of all big questions–the meaning of life—Terry Gilliam's latest is sometimes frustrating and occasionally outright goofy, but it's never dull. More »

Art and Craft
Film Review: Art and Craft

Documentary portrait of the artist as a disturbed man, but one who is overwhelmingly endearing, functioning and talented—and whose métier happens to be art forgery. This smartly produced and constructed art-themed art-house entry delivers a canvas of caper, comedy and delightful curiosities that engage and provoke some serious thought. Like the hero’s forgeries, it deserves a close look. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

The Maze Runner
Film Review: The Maze Runner

Youths try to break out of a deadly maze in the latest young-adult doomsday thriller. More »

This is Where I Leave You
Film Review: This Is Where I Leave You

Siblings bond, fight and face new problems after the death of their father in an ensemble dramedy based on the best-selling novel. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here