7 June 2023
Son of Babylon is a 100-minute Iraqi film in Arabic and Kurdi, produced in 2009 and directed by Mohamed Al-Daradji. Set in the year 2003, just after the fall of Saddam Hussein and the release of Iraqi prisoners of war, the film shows Ahmed, a 12-year-old boy, who begrudgingly joins his grandmother in search of his father who has not returned home since the 1991 Gulf War. As they travel from one side of the country to the other, we see abandoned structures, larger than life, skeletons of what could have been. The viewer scans backdrops and walks through areas that range from the ancient Borsippa ziggurat to contemporary mass graves and unfinished construction sites, signifying the continuous destruction of Iraq. This film is a heart-wrenching epic journey into wars, torture, and all the shadows that live in the cracks. Presented by the A.M. Qattan Foundation as part of the 2023 Cinema Program titled “Mappings in Cinema: Ideas and Depictions of the Politics of Space on Film,” supervised by the Palestinian curator Sheyma Buali. A.M. Qattan Foundation.