Carsey-Wolf Center to screen Iraq War drama “Our River ... Our Sky”

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Reema, played by Zainab Joda, in "Our River ... Our Sky"
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Reema, played by Zainab Joda, in "Our River ... Our Sky"

 

Since the Iraq War began in March of 2003, moviegoers have seldom had the opportunity to learn about the experiences of everyday Iraqis impacted by years of violence.

To honor that perspective, the Carsey-Wolf Center will host a screening of “Our River … Our Sky,” a 2021 feature-length drama directed and co-written by Maysoon Pachachi, a London-based filmmaker of Iraqi origin.

The screening takes place from 7–9:50 p.m., Thursday, April 13, at the Pollock Theater, and will be followed by a pre-recorded conversation between Pachachi and Mona Damluji, assistant professor of film and media studies. The event is free and open to the public; reserving advanced tickets is recommended. Part of the CWC Global series, the film will be screened in the original Arabic with subtitles in English.

“There has been a painful absence in the American media of stories told through the Iraqi perspective,” said Damluji, whose research includes engaging underrepresented media histories. “Hollywood depictions of the war such as ‘The Hurt Locker’ and ‘American Sniper’ center on the experiences of soldiers and veterans while Iraqis are caricatured as one-dimensional victims and villains. ‘Our River … Our Sky’ offers a drastically different portrayal of Iraq during the occupation.”

Set in a Baghdad neighborhood during the onset of civil war in the winter of 2006, the film follows an Iraqi novelist and her daughter as communities are ripped apart by imposed sectarian divisions.

“Pachachi’s films have always focused on collective stories of people, often women, living in extraordinary circumstances,” Damluji said.

Media Contact

Keith Hamm    

(805) 893-3207

keithhamm@ucsb.edu

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