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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Directed by Steve Connors, Molly Bingham
First Run Features 10/07 DVD/VHS Documentary
Steve Connors and Molly Bingham were working in Iraq as freelance photographers when the war began in March 2003. They decided to make a documentary film on the resistance to the United States occupation using the Al Adhamiya neighborhood of Baghdad as a focal point. Saddam Hussein made his final public appearance there, and the area was the scene of the last stand by local militia and foreign volunteers fighting the Americans in April 2003. Over a ten-month period, Connors and Bingham interviewed representatives of elements of the resistance movement the teacher, the warrior, the traveler, the Imam, the wife, the Syrian, the fugitive, the local, the Republican guard, the lieutenant, and the professor. Their identities have been concealed to protect them.
Meeting Resistance takes its special place in a large group of distinguished documentaries on the war in Iraq. This subject has not been covered in any in-depth way in the media, and the insights here will be of great interest to soldiers arriving in Iraq mostly unaware of the breadth and depth of opposition to their presence. It is now being screened for American troops in country. According to one person interviewed in the documentary, 85 percent of the motivation to resist the American opposition is religious with other factors including revenge, patriotism, tribal codes, and anger. Those interviewed also discuss recruitment, the challenge of obtaining weapons, and the constant danger of traitors within the ranks of the resistance movement.
Listening to these people share their fear, anger, despair, and anguish over what they have lost during the occupation of their country, we do feel compassion for their suffering. But we also know that violence will not bring peace to Iraq or assuage the tremendous loss of life there. Violence will only bring more death.
Special DVD features include a Q & A with the filmmaker, an audio commentary, biographies, and a photo gallery.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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