Iraqi director Mohamed Al Daradji

I’ve been talking a lot lately to Isabelle Stead, production manager at Human Film, a production company based in Leeds, about a number of films that she’s working on with Holland-based Iraqi director, Mohamed Al Daradji.

In 2004 Mohamed travelled back to his native Baghdad in an attempt to make a feature film, resulting in Ahlaam (dreams), which received critical reviews, see below:

“…a remarkable achievement” Empire

“…honest and brave…” Time Out 

remarkable debut film plunges the viewer into the madness of occupied
Baghdad circa 2003. Two inmates from a mental institution suddenly find
themselves out in the streets, negotiating local gangs, American
soldiers, ruined buildings and falling bombs. An intense, vivid
experience both on and off-screen, as the director and his crew were
abducted and interrogated by both sides during the shooting of the film.


A documentary about his struggle to get the film made arrived a little later under the provisional title War, Love God and Madness. Feedback from the festival circuit encouraged Human Film to re-edit the film and make it altogether a much tighter package. Currently under the working title Welcome to Baghdad, they hope to have an edit ready fairly soon and we plan to do a screening at Frontline with Mohamed towards the middle or March.

The momentum generated from these films have allowed them to start work on Mohamed’s next film, Son of Babylon – keep your ears pinned to the ground, there should be a trailer coming soon…