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The Fabulous Picture Show
Trip of Dreams
Filmmaker Mohamed Al-Daradji returns to Iraq for the premiere of his film, Ahlaam.
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2007 15:13 GMT

Al-Daradji, right, with his film's lead actress

In March The Fabulous Picture Show hosted a special screening of filmmaker Mohamed Al-Daradji's debut feature Ahlaam, one of the first films to come out of Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

 

Ahlaam, which means 'dreams', tells the story of three psychiatric patients and events that lead to their traumatic incarceration in the war-torn capital.

 

Filmmakers often talk about the difficulties of making movies - writing scripts, finding funding and attracting a good cast. But Mohamed had problems of a different magnitude. While shooting his film, he was tortured, kidnapped and almost executed.


Trip of Dreams, a special half hour documentary for The Fabulous Picture Show, is the continuation of Mohamed's dramatic true story.

 

Back in March he told the FPS audience that, although Ahlaam has been screened at 70 film festivals around the world and has won numerous awards, it had never been screened in Iraq because of the grave security threat it posed for his family, cast and crew - a number of whom, tragically, were killed during filming.

 

Iraqis at their country's first screening
of Dreams in Baghdad
The impossibility of showing his film in his homeland was a source of great sadness for Mohamed, as Dreams was a labour of patriotic love "made for the Iraqi people, by the Iraqi people". Not even actress Aseel Adel, who played the main character Ahlaam, had ever seen the results of the gruelling production process.

 

This April, Mohamed was finally able to travel back to Baghdad for the film's long-awaited Iraq premiere at the capital's National Theatre.

 

Trip of Dreams, which was written, produced and directed by Mohamed Al Daradji, documents his emotional journey back to Baghdad and his determination to go ahead with the screening despite his family's resistance - on a day which turned out to be one of the bloodiest in Iraq's recent history.

This episode of The Fabulous Picture Show will be broadcast at the following times GMT:

 

Saturday 6th October 14:30, 22:30; Sunday 7th October 02:30, 12:30; Monday 8th October 00:30, 07:30; Tuesday 9th October 06:00, 13:30; Wednesday 10th October 11:30, 19:30; Thursday 11th October 05:30 Friday 12th  October 03:00, 16:30; Saturday 13th  October 06:30

 

 

Watch Part One here:


Watch Part Two here:



 
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