Archive for April, 2007

Episode 14 of 45 - “Barbwire”

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

In this episode, Saif shows how he has tried to barricade in his house to protect himself from the danger outside. It’s a lockdown in Zayouna…

Wow. Don’t know if everyone reads the comments, but Hometown Baghdad reader and viewer Tracy made some awesome Hometown Baghdad banner ads for bloggers to include in their blogs. It’s an honor to have her do that for us…and without even asking! Check them out here.

I want to include one here so you know what I’m talking about (I hope this is alright Tracy!).

Tracy's Awesome Banner Ad

Episode 13 of 45 - “Hidden Camera”

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

In this episode, Adel takes a huge risk to show what has become of one particularly dangerous neighborhood.

Everyone check out the latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. They did a small feature on Hometown Baghdad and featured a picture of Adel. Very very cool!

A message from our Iraqi Director

Monday, April 9th, 2007

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.
-Ziad Turkey

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.

Episode Twelve - “Exam”

Monday, April 9th, 2007

It’s final exam time at the University of Baghdad and Ausama and his friends discuss the possibility of fleeing Iraq.

In other news, we put up an About Us page with producer bios. Check it out.

Episode 11 of 45 - “Saif <3 Noor”

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

So far, we have seen Saif upset and sad, saying goodbye to a close friend, but here we see him in a happier light…we see him madly and deeply in love.

Update: Much of the footage from this video was shot after Saif and Noor’s engagement.

Digg this video

We also get a peak at how the war-zone has affected his relationship with his fiance, their engagement and the amount of time they can spend together.

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Episode 10 of 45 - “Mentally F’ed Up”

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

In episode ten, Adel’s younger brother witnesses a horrible scene.

Digg this video

In other news, “Songs of Pain” was featured in the youtube homepage yesterday and consequently got thousands upon thousands of views. We’re thankful that these stories are reaching so many people. I’m working on a Press page for this site that collects all of the major stories about Hometown Baghdad in the news. If anyone has any, let me know.

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A note from our Iraqi producer

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

We are overwhelmed by the positive response to Hometown Baghdad. Every note and every positive press mention that we receive shows us that not only did our participants want to speak to the world but that the world wanted to hear what they had to say. And the conversations that have sprung up in the blog’s comments, both argumentative and friendly, tell us that we need dialogue and understanding.

I want to post this note that we received from our Iraqi producer Fady after I sent him one particularly nice feedback letter. He writes:

Dear all -

I am extremely moved and inspired by all the warm feedback that we are getting on several blogs and websites. It is giving me energy and strength to bear the nightmares that I am living and the ones I dream of at night. It was an honor for me to help in bringing out these messages from Baghdad to the outer world, despite of all the dangers we face everyday.
Thank you, Mike, for keep sending me the feedback.


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Episode 9 of 45 - “Iraqis Shooting Each Other”

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

Making a documentary in a war-zone is inherently dangerous. Film crews in Baghdad are a target. And our producers in Baghdad were not always able to be with the subjects. And this episode uncovers how we dealt with that problem.

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