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Laura Winter (#110 of 1)

Tribeca Film Festival 2008: Baghdad High

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Tribeca Film Festival 2008: <em>Baghdad High</em>
Tribeca Film Festival 2008: <em>Baghdad High</em>

Baghdad High combines the video diaries of four Iraqi teen boys during their 2006-07 senior year in the violence-fraught capital. The boys are religiously diverse “sons of Mesopotamia” who look to pass their national exams while U.S. helicopters patrol overhead, power outages persist, checkpoints must be negotiated every morning, and nighttime walks to a neighbor’s house are a mortal risk. Putting the trials of MTV reality-show prima donnas in perspective, the middle-class quartet will be relatable to this BBC/HBO production’s audience in their easy embrace of Western kid stuff (dopey cellphone videos, Britney and 2Pac as bedroom accompaniment for Koran study, “fuck!” as an interjection in Arabic sentences) and dealings with generational tensions (the frustration and anxiety of anguished parents grappling with financial and political hardship and the option of abandoning Baghdad, as a quarter of the school’s students do by midyear).