(director/writer: Zaradasht Ahmed; cinematographers: Zaradasht Ahmed, Nori Sharif; editor: Eva Hillstrom; cast: Nori Sharif; Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Mette Cheng Munte-Kaas; East Village Entertainment; 2016-Norway/Sweden-in Arabic with English subtitles)

An incendiary and sobering cinema vérité documentary.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An incendiary and sobering cinema vérité documentary on the breakdown of Iraqi society in the wartorn period immediately following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from that country in 2011. It’s written and directed by the Kurdish-born Iraqi native, Oslo-based filmmaker, Zaradasht Ahmed (“Veien til Diyarbekir“).

The mild-mannered Iraqi Nori Sharif has been a male nurse for over ten years at a hospital in a part of Iraq that became known as “the triangle of death,” the Diyala-province. When the Americans leave and the occupation has ended, the people celebrate their independence. But this joyous feeling is short-lived. The government proves to be as corrupt and oppressive. The terror of ISIS looms ahead. At this point Nori is given a small camera by Ahmed and films those in his home town of Jalawla and their struggle for survival in the ensuing five years since the American withdrawal. Though the camerawork is only third-rate, we get the bleak picture of war and get another reminder of how Bush’s unfortunate war was such a disaster for mankind. It leaves us with the grim reminder of a suicide bombing, injured children and the knowledge there’s nowhere safe to hide in that part of Iraq, as Nori tells us he moved his family at least thirteen times in the last five years.