The Children of the Embargo

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Les Enfants de l'embargo

The Children of the Embargo

by Amer Alwan

Iraq, France


Les Enfants de l'embargo

Director: Amer Alwan

Cinematographer: Hamid Almutlaq

Editing: Valérie Bregaint

Sound: Adnnana Alsaffar

Jakaranda Productions
10 rue Rachel
75018 Paris
Tel: 0033
Fax: 0033

Year: 2000

Beta SP, Colour, 26 min
OV Arab with French Subtitles


After the war and years of embargo, Iraq is still alive. The country seems to have erased all traces of its destruction. In Baghdad, the streets hide their wounds, trying to offer a sight of prosperity. Yet, the toll is heavy : infant mortality rate has increased twice, malnutrition, high decrease of schooling, destruction of urban health infrastructures, of industries infrastructures, and above all the tragic cultural isolation of the Iraqi from the world. In the streets of Baghdad, it is not unusual to see young boys left on their own. Saïf is one of them, struggling for life. On the bank of the river Tigris, he confesses his sufferings and his dreams. We follow him searching for a job in the souk.

Some privileged children attend school in normal conditions, whereas others sit on the ground and try to learn the basics of national culture. In the paediatrics wards of the Baghdad hospitals, medical teams endeavour to relieve innocent children with ridiculous means. A large number of disease such as leukaemia have spectacularly increased during these last years. Could it be due to the depleted uranium bombs used by the west during the Gulf war? For how long can the Iraqi children bear such a dramatic situation?

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