The festival, at the library's arts centre, will show documentary films produced by Iraqi and non-Iraqi producers done before and after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

 

Sharif Muhei al-Din, the head of the arts centre, said the screening of documentaries will start on May 19.

 

"The documentaries are produced in different parts of the world … Lebanon, France, Britain and Australia, but they all deal with the humanitarian situation inside Iraq," he said.

 

The festival is an attempt to show the continuing suffering of ordinary Iraqis.

Some documentaries deal with the human situation in Iraq before the invasion, and the impact of UN sanctions imposed in 1990 when Iraq invaded neighbouring Kuwait. The sanctions were lifted after the US-led invasion.

 

Defector actress

 

Al-Rammah performed on the
stage for the first time in 1956

Qutaiba al-Janabi, a British producer, will present three movies "The Terminal", "Peaceful life", "Among Borders", and "Nahida al-Rammah" – which is the name of the first Iraqi actress who lost her sight on the stage in the 1970s.

 

The actress, who first performed in 1956, was sent by the then Iraqi president, Ahmad Hasan al-Bakir abroad to be treated. She defected after receiving treatment and became an opponent of the Baathist government.   

 

The documentary "Inside and Outside Baghdad" by Saad Salman, the Iraqi director, deals with life in Baghdad before the invasion. The film is of French production and was made in 2002.

 

"Iraq Is My Home" is an Australian production of 2005, directed by Hadi Mahud, an Iraqi director based in Australia.

 

Basim Fayad, the Lebanese director, will present his documentary "The Road to Low Sunset".