A note we received from the director of Hometown Baghdad, Ziad Turkey:
We followed our characters in their homes. We heard their secrets and their terrible miseries that have resulted from the situation in Iraq. We, as a film crew, began to feel that we were all partners in our decisions, crises, fears, depressions, social pressures, security problems and our inclinations to pursue an unknown future. We did our best to observe and capture the events, and not be part of them. However, we felt for a moment that there was nothing separating us from our subjects, except for our technical duties. And we’ve ended up with the same destiny.
When I was shooting one of the subjects as he packed his bag, I could feel my heart shivering. I even began feeling nervous behind the camera. How emotional the thought of packing is! I curse packing and I curse wars! “Where are you going, my friends?” I used to ask them. “Shouldn’t you wait a little more?” But I say to myself and to my memory full of images of war and death, “that’s enough!” My hometown is not safe anymore. I must look for a place where I can prevent my head from rolling in my children’s sights.
Today is the four year anniversary of the fall of Baghdad. Originally, we had thought about releasing the videos starting today because of how Baghdad-specific our project was. We ended up going with March 19th but I wanted to post this note in recognition of what so many Iraqis are feeling now.
On an interesting side note, four years ago, a combination of Americans and Iraqis pulled down the iconic statue of Saddam in Fardus Square.
And members of our crew helped rebuild its replacement.