Son of Babylon

"Extraordinary"

Son of Babylon Review


This gripping and beautifully made film explores the big issue of Iraq's 1 million missing people, most of whom are presumed dead. And an intimate story and engaging characters make the film hugely involving.

Three weeks after the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003, a Kurdish woman (Hussein) walks through the desert with her cheeky pre-teen grandson Ahmed (Taleeb). Finally a feisty driver picks them up, charging them a fortune to get to Baghdad. Along the way he challenges Grandma's assured faith in God and Ahmed's belief that his ex-soldier father is safe in a distant town. And their journey doesn't go as expected. They meet several people along the way, including Musa (Al-Majid), another former soldier who tries to help.

Beautifully played by the young Taleeb, Ahmed is a bright spark who drives everyone nuts with his incessant curiosity. Beneath this we feel his longing for his missing father. The relationship between Ahmed and his grandmother deepens through several small adventures, and much of their interaction is hilariously honest. But most potent is the pain we feel identifying with people who have lost loved ones and just want answers.

Most intriguing is that this isn't a typical movie about a boy in search of his father. It's more of a road movie about two generations (with a missing generation between them) traversing the remains of their culture and finding hope for the future. None of this is overtly stated, but it comes through loudly in the subtle filmmaking and fine acting. And it feels so real that we feel as if we're coated in dust like everyone on screen.

Shooting in Iraq with widescreen images and vivid ambient sound, Al-Daradji directs with a steady eye, catching the characters' personalities while making terrific use of settings that are both visually stunning and thematically harrowing. The deserted chaos is striking, as if everyone has run for cover.

And it's even more unnerving to know that we're looking at the actual aftermath of both Saddam's ruthless regime and America's heavy-handed invasion. Life goes on, but not as they knew it.



Son of Babylon

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th February 2011

Distributed by: Human Film

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 10

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Mohamed Al-Daradji

Producer: Atea Al-Daradji, Mohamed Al-Daradji, , Isabelle Stead

Starring: Yasser Talib as Ahmed

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.