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74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: Working alone in Iraq over eight months, director/cinematographer Laura Poitras creates an extraordinarily intimate portrait of Iraqis living under U.S. occupation. (Zeitgeist Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. When Riyadh's family jokes about the purple stain that marks them as resistance targets after they vote, the black humor speaks volumes about them as individuals, as Sunnis and as Iraqis with a dream of a better way.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    88
    Poitras boldly dispenses with the traditional documentary voice-over, but her film is filled with telling moments that are far more eloquent than any scripted narration.
  3. 80
    Perhaps the most telling image in this remarkable movie is that of a relative intently swatting flies in Riyadh's house, while fighting rages outside.
  4. 75
    Reserving the only trace of editorializing for the end credits, which list some sobering numbers on the occupation and this so-called successful election, Poitras mainly allows her subjects and the circumstances to speak for themselves.
  5. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    70
    Without comment but with unusual sensitivity, Ms. Poitras, exposes the emotional toll of occupation on Iraqis and American soldiers alike.
  6. 70
    As a substantial piece of the puzzle, this is worthwhile viewing.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    50
    Even on that happy 2005 election day, which was so successful that it led to a December round of elections in which the Sunnis did participate, Poitras takes a break to show us a close-up of someone slitting the neck of a rooster.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. DebD.
    Oct 10, 2006
    9
    Poitras offers an amazing peek into Iraq in the months leading up to the historic 2005 elections.

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