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- Year: 2006
- Film Format: 35mm
- Origin: USA
- Aspect Ratio: 1:1.85
- Runtime: 90 mins
- Sound Format: Dolby 5.1 Surround
- Language: Arabic, English and Kurdish
- Subtitles: English
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature
From the director of CITIZENFOUR
Working alone in Iraq over eight months, director/cinematographer Laura Poitras creates an extraordinarily intimate portrait of Iraqis living under U.S. occupation. Her principal focus is Dr. Riyadh, an Iraqi medical doctor, father of six and Sunni political candidate. An outspoken critic of the occupation, he is equally passionate about the need to establish democracy in Iraq, arguing that Sunni participation in the January 2005 elections is essential. Yet all around him, Dr. Riyadh sees only chaos, as his waiting room fills each day with patients suffering the physical and mental effects of ever-increasing violence. Dramatically interwoven into the personal journey of Dr. Riyadh is the landscape of the US military occupation, with Australian private security contractors, American journalists and the UN officials who orchestrate the elections. Unfolding like a narrative drama, MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY follows the agonizing predicament and gradual descent of one man caught in the tragic contradictions of the U.S. occupation of Iraq and its project to spread democracy in the Middle East.
Laura Poitras was nominated for an Academy Award, an Independent Spirit Award, and an Emmy Award for MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY (2006), a documentary about the U.S. occupation of Iraq. MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY was co-produced with ITVS, released theatrically by Zeitgeist Films, and broadcast on P.O.V./PBS.
She received a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Emmy and an Independent Spirit Award for FLAG WARS (2003; made with Linda Goode Bryant), a documentary about gentrification that premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and won the award for Best Documentary.
Following MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY, THE OATH is Poitras' second documentary in a trilogy titled THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY about America post 9/11. The final film will focus on the 9/11 trials.
Poitras is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Media Arts Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation/Tribeca Film Institute. She has attended the Sundance Institute's Documentary Storytelling and Edit Lab as both a Fellow and creative advisor. Her work has received support from the Independent Television Service (ITVS), P.O.V./American Documentary, Creative Capital, Sundance Documentary Film Program, Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, the Vital Projects Fund, NYSCA, Jerome Foundation, Chicken and Egg Pictures, and others.
She is currently working on THE GUANTANAMO PROJECT, a multi-media project to collect documents and artifacts from Guantanamo Bay Prison. Before making documentaries, she worked as a professional chef. She lives in New York City.
Her newest film, the third part of her "9/11 Trilogy," which started with MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY and THE OATH, is CITIZENFOUR.
Peter Towndrow, Australian private contractor
Carlos Valenzuela, U.N. Elections Support
Capt. Kris Scarcliff, U.S. Army, Civil Affairs
Director/Camera/Sound Laura Poitras
Producers Laura Poitras & Jocelyn Glatzer
Editors Erez Laufer and Laura Poitras
Singer/Songwriter Kadhum Al Sahir
Co-Producer Aliza Kaplan
Associate Producer Rosie Bsheer
MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY is a co-production of Praxis Films and The Independent Television Service (ITVS). Produced in association with P.O.V./American Documentary.
Additional funding provided by: The Sundance Institute Documentary Fund, The Robert and Joyce Menschel Family Foundation, The Wellspring Foundation, The Appleman Foundation.
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