Iraq: The Lost Generation
January 7, 2007 3:30 PM   Subscribe

Iraq: The Lost Generation. This 47 minute long documentary was filmed by an anonymous Iraqi journalist. Broadcast on the UK's Channel 4 in November, it tells the stories of several young Iraqis whose lives have been changed by the invasion and occupation of their country.
posted by washburn (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
still watching this, but so far it is quite excellent and sad, thanks.
posted by sourbrew at 5:35 PM on January 7, 2007

Excellent and sad, yes.
posted by dhartung at 7:18 PM on January 7, 2007

I'm kind of shocked that more people haven't commented on this. Perhaps it was my fault for not "selling" the clip in my post, or for discouraging potential viewers by mentioning too prominently the fact that Iraq: The Lost Generation runs for 47 minutes.

For some reason, I assumed when I posted this that most readers of Metafilter, despite blogs such as Riverbend, must feel somewhat starved for news from Iraq that provides a detailed sense of what is going on outside the Green Zone, conveying the texture of life in Baghdad, rather than announcing body counts. I assumed that people would flock to watch this.

This documentary is really the first I've seen that focuses not on Haliburton or Bush or any of that, but on the cultural terrain and lives of Iraqis---factors that will be enormously decisive in the way the story of that country finally plays out.

In purely descriptive terms, I found this film informative in too many ways to describe. For one thing, it presents at its conclusion, a Shiek---one of the figures that the deceased Capt Travis Patriquin thought was an overlooked key to success in Iraq. For me, every one of the vignettes the film presents offered rich insight into what's happening in Iraq.

Moreover, the way the film was made---using anonymous local journalists---points to ways that the media is changing, or *could* change usefully. Another Channel 4 video explores in more depth the advantages and limitations of such decentralized news coverage. Does the ubiquity and decentralization of recording equipment mean that it will soon be more possible to "cover" stories from impossibly dangerous places? What can be done to make such coverage more possible? (although more traditionally produced video, such as this clip from Occupation 101 can also provide illuminating description).

I must admit to feeling a little bit saddened and disappointed that so few people have taken the time to watch or comment on this remarkable program. But perhaps the paucity of comments here offers some insight into the nature of the difficulties that must be overcome before decentralized methods of news gathering can become more powerfully effective.
posted by washburn at 10:00 PM on January 7, 2007

I'm still watching this as well - it is excellent, and saddening. But it is long, and a lot of people may not have time to watch it, or once they do, no longer feel directly like commenting.

I was sorry that he did not have the chance to talk to more young women. I've been reading a bit of riverbend's blog, and she talks about how things are changing for women in Iraq, especially women who had been living in a western livestyle. She had to take up wearing the hijab, which she had not before the invasion; I noticed that all of the women in the video (so far) are in some kind of hijab. (Sorry, don't know all the correct terms). She also lost her job.
posted by jb at 10:21 PM on January 7, 2007

I notice that if one does a google video search for "channel 4" and Iraq, one can find quite a few interesting-looking programs. One of them is about the occupation's effects on women in particular. I haven't had a chance to watch this one just yet.
posted by washburn at 10:55 PM on January 7, 2007

Well done film. A good look at the people and how they are struggling in chaos. Something that is missing in most reports that I have seen.
posted by 0of1 at 10:57 PM on January 7, 2007

Just watched it, excellent. Very well done. Great post. Leaves more questions than it answers(like who is doing the kidnapping, gangs, or secatarian groups). Although I haven't heard about "Winning the hearts and minds" of the Iraqi's from our leaders in a long time. War is hell.
posted by highgene at 11:35 PM on January 7, 2007

Yes, good film and post. And Washburn, I too was wondering why no one was commenting on it. But then again, neither was I. Now I'll have to watch the one on the "occupation's effect on women." But not until tomorrow. Thanks. More insight into the real people of Iraq like this is needed.
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 12:26 AM on January 8, 2007

I wonder how many of us marking this as favorites are planning to watch when circumstances warrant? That's the case for me -- I can't spend 47 min on a video at work, but I want to look at this.

Thx, washburn.
posted by pax digita at 11:33 AM on January 8, 2007

I spent most of last year in Iraq working for a US contractor on local government issues.

The worst part was not the outrageous waste of money and effort, or the complete lack of coherent strategy or even - horrible as this sounds - the knowledge that people were regularly being killed or badly injured somewhere nearby.

The worst part, the part that sticks with me and continues to make me throw things at the TV when I make the mistake of watching the Sunday morning talk shows, is the impact of the war on the people who live through it -- Iraqis, especially the young, especially women, who are going to be telling their own children and grandchildren about how bad it was after the Americans invaded, and American soldiers who are going to be coming back to lives in small towns and suburbs and inner cities and never quite able to explain why they're a little bit pissed off and a little bit sad all the time.

All of which to say - i haven't watched the whole thing yet, but it looks really good, thanks for posting.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 12:43 PM on January 8, 2007

I posted it over at videosift, it is about to escape the queue and will perhaps get more attention then.

(disclaimer I help run the sift)
posted by sourbrew at 11:54 AM on January 10, 2007

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