Our River...Our Sky
Fall Grants 2019 - Post-Production, Post-Production Stage
Baghdad, 2006. All over the city, people of different religions are being forced out of their homes, and neighbourhoods are being divided by concrete walls. At night, under curfew, the residents remain trapped inside their houses. Sara obsessively scours the internet—how many dead today? As her daughter sleeps against a muted background of mortars and gunfire, her mother scribbles numbers on scraps of paper and sticks them to a map of Baghdad. At least if she keeps track of the attacks, she can try to predict where the next one may happen. Sara is a novelist, but no matter how hard she tries, she cannot write. It would all just be a lie anyway. Maybe she and her daughter should leave this unlivable place? Yet everything that matters to her is here, and Reema seems alright; she tells jokes, plays tricks. But Reema knows much more than she tells her mother.
When Sara’s closest friend and neighbour, Sabiha, a former actress and a Christian, is forced into exile by a sectarian gang, Sara begins to fight back. But the random killing of Reema’s school bus driver causes Sara to rethink things, and she starts to look for a way out. Sara and Reema’s story intersect with those of their neighbours: Kamal, a former prisoner-of-war in Iran; his pregnant wife Mona, who can’t forget her children from a past marriage; and her mother Nermeen, whose son was ‘disappeared’ by the regime. In spite of a fresh bomb attack, Sara regains a renewed sense of defiance and resistance. She takes her daughter to the Tigris River for the first time. Sitting at the riverbank, they agree that Baghdad belongs to them, and they will not leave it.
- Maysoon Pachachi
- Maysoon Pachachi, Irada Al Jabbouri
- Patrice Nezan & Laurent Versini (Les Contes Modernes - FR), Maysoon Pachachi (Oxymoron Films - UK), Talal Al Muhanna (Linked production - KW), Alexander Ris (Neue Mediopolis Filmproduktion - DE)
- Production Company
- Les Contes Modernes
About the Director
Maysoon Pachachi is a London-based filmmaker of Iraqi origin. She studied Philosophy at University College London and then filmmaking at the London Film School. Pachachi was a documentary and drama film editor in the UK and has worked since 1994 as an independent film director, mainly making films in and about the Middle East. Completed films, as director, include award-winning ‘Iranian Journey’ (1998), ‘Return to the Land of Wonders’ (2004) and ‘Our Feelings Took the Pictures: Open Shutters Iraq’ (2009). Maysoon has taught film directing and editing in Britain and Palestine (in Jerusalem, Gaza and at Birzeit University). In 2004, with her colleague, Iraqi filmmaker Kasim Abid, she co-founded the Independent Film & Television College—a free-of-charge film-training centre in Baghdad whose students have since produced 17 short documentary films, shown at festivals and screenings internationally, and within Iraq at a travelling festival.