Daily News header

In My Mother's Arms Movie Review

By     get stories by email

Playing out as a troubling footnote to the massive destruction and chaos of the US led invasion and occupation of Iraq, "In My Mother's Arms" records the efforts of local altruist Husham Al Thabe to sustain the shaky survival of a home for war orphans that he has set up for over thirty children. As he seeks them out in one of the worst slums of Baghdad, in a country vastly teeming with ruin.

There is much to be found in the film about the sorrowful plight of these children, along with resilience. And a population at the dwelling representative of all the long contentious ethnic divisions in the country. Including children of Sunni, Shia, Turkman and Kurd heritage. Which incidentally, the West engineered in its economically motivated, intentional historical carving out of this country in the first place.

in my mothers arms
Orphans in the documentary - In My Mothers Arms
Photo: In My Mother's Arms Facebook page
Along with a tendency of this film, to blame the government for its failure to address the widespread problem of five million orphans, in a country of just over thirty million people. And who survive mostly by begging, while Husham runs the precarious do-it-yourself orphanage with small individual donations.

A documentary about street children without parents and a Good Samaritan who devotes his life to caring for them, needs little if anything in the way of evoking immense sympathy, other than to simply depict a dire reality that is already there. But there is much that is disturbing as well, about what is not shown and described, and which is quite the elephant in the room.

And that is the bleak irony of a situation, in which the perpetrators - in this case the coalition forces of the Netherlands and the UK as accessories to the destruction of Iraq - are now filming the scene of their crime, so to speak. And incredulously blaming the Iraqi government and its many services that they in effect annihilated, for not providing care for these children, while at the same time propagandizing for the virtues of privatization. Along with the occupiers doing so through a joint Dutch/UK company called, outrageously Human Film.

So what is in effect at work here - the remarkable dedication of Husham aside - is yet another entry into the cinematic annals of poverty porn. And where typically the West and its carpetbagger itinerant filmmakers, exploit the misery of the Third World they've likely had a part in creating and perpetuating, for fame and profit.

This raises a nagging question amidst all the disingenuous handwringing. Namely, that the financial resources from those culpable countries that went into making and promoting this documentary, would have served a far greater purpose by handing over the money to Husham and these orphans instead.

Iraq Al-Rafidan Films
Unrated
2 stars

See the In My Mother's Arms Facebook Page - to see more information, including, if you wish, how to make a donation.

Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact Prairie through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Prairie Miller.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Kam Williams interviews Gina the Dreamer about Beyond the Lights, a romance drama co-starring Gugu Mbata-Raw and Nate Parker.
Marion Cotillard, who is no stranger to tackling complex characters and complicated women in movies, most notably as Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose, plays Sandra in Two Days, One Night. An emotionally vulnerable blue collar worker in a plant determine
Stevie Nicks, older and ever bolder turned heads with Stevie's back-to-the-future, pre-technoid selfies at an opening exhibition in the Morrison Hotel Gallery, Manhattan.
Michael Pena, who first appeared in 'To Sir, with Love' and 'End of Watch' director David Ayer talk to Kam Williams about reuniting to collaborate on Fury.
Rosamund Pike stopped by the NY Film Festival where Gone Girl premiered, to weigh in on assorted relevant topics, with Prairie Miller.
The groundbreaking shorts incorporate drama, nonfiction, animation and comedy, and feature cameos from Sarah Silverman, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and others.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site