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Ballooning becomes the symbol of hope for a new Iraq

At Folke rydén's filmkontor in Stockholm there are still balloons left over from the premiärens afterparty. the world premiere of the documentary ”Above Baby

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Ballooning becomes the symbol of hope for a new Iraq

At Folke rydén's filmkontor in Stockholm there are still balloons left over from the premiärens afterparty.

the world premiere of the documentary ”Above Babylon”, however, at the national theatre in Baghdad. On site were both the iraqi minister of culture and representatives from the Swedish embassy. And, of course, the film's protagonist Murtada Al-Hachami, who got tired of all the eländesbilder from Iraq and got the idea to fly in a hot air balloon over what was once the North and the capital.

" It's amazing to finally be able to show the film. The reactions have strengthened me for the next event in February. It will be a great festival with ballongflyg, skydiving, and other cultural activities, " says Murtada Al-Hachami.

the difficulties in getting the first festival to fruition. It is not just about financial concerns and bureaucratic obstacles in order to be able to take the sky – in the middle of the preparations are also beginning to terrorsekten IS to wreak havoc in the country. Many of the invited ballongflygarna from different parts of the world got cold feet.

– There is a black irony here. Murtada wanted to show the world that Iraq is not synonymous with war, but instead ushered in a new period of insecurity in the country. We continued to follow the project despite the fact that we really did not have any funding for the film. Therefore, it felt incredibly great to be in Baghdad, when the news came that the ICE had been crushed. It is just as Murtada says in the film: the terrorists will die and we will live on, " says Folke Rydén.

There has been plenty of al-Qaeda and other militias that have been fighting against art, music and theatre in Iraq. Now, the people have defeated these terrorists. During Saddam Hussein's time in power would the culture fit his purposes. Now we have a chance to do anything else, " says Murtada Al-Hachami and says that his dream is to book the iraqi exilartisten Kadim Al-Sahir.

Folke Rydén met Murtada Al-Hachami the first time after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 Photo: Eva Tedesjö

from the region for many years and met Murtada Al-Hachami the first time after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, when the western media needed the help of the local journalists on the spot. A few years later, he was told that Murtada had a crazy project going on.

The finished film is at least as much about the Murtadas life. He left Iraq already as a child and grew up in London. He followed the first invasion of the distance and upset over his countrymen was portrayed as looters in the media.

When I returned to Iraq after Saddam Hussein's case, I also saw much more. I felt it was my duty to tell you about the other sides of the people and the culture in the country. This is my way to contribute to peace and development in the country, " says Murtada Al-Hachami.

in terms of ”professional liability” when he describes his entrance in the film.

" good things happen in Iraq right now, but how often we focus on what the journalists? From a strictly nyhetsperspektiv it would be more interesting if Iraq would revert to chaos. Therefore, there are grounds for self-criticism. The middle east be reduced easily to the place where all compete with each other and where nobody will agree and then the audience starts to look down on the people who live there. The audience deserves a more nuanced picture of reality. It is one of my goals with this project, but I don't know if it will succeed, " says Folke Rydén.

– The will to succeed. I think we can do it, " says Murtada Al-Hachami.

reality. From the top the air, we can consider the millennia-old heritage. Down on the ground, smiling locals and gazing at the sky. ”Above Babylon” is marketed not as a feelgooddokumentär from the Iraq and as such, it is rather unique.

From the film ”Above the Babylon”. Photo: Donald Boström.

Beside him during the interview has Murtada Al-Hachami his 17-year-old son, Yousif, who has followed the work with dad's projects and is involved in the ”Above Babylon”. He was on hand for the ballongfestivalen and flew from London to attend the movie premiere in Stockholm, sweden.

Just in time for the photo shoot takes father and son on the matching vests with the text ”Peace for Iraq”. Yousif says that he recently read that Baghdad within a couple of decades will become a mega city with ten million inhabitants.

" this movie sends a message to the world. There is potential in Iraq, said Yousif Serkal.

movie review: High-flying dreams of a peaceful Iraq in the ”Above Babylon”

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