Back to Babylon (film)

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Back to Babylon
Directed by Abbas Fahdel
Produced by Agat Films & Cie
France 5
Music by Sami Kaftan
Cinematography Abbas Fahdel
Amer Alwan
Edited by Sylvie Gadmer
Distributed by Doc & Co
Release date
Running time
52 minutes
Country France
Language Arabic

Back to Babylon (Arabic: العودة إلى بابل‎, French: Retour à Babylone) is a documentary film directed by the Iraqi-French film director Abbas Fahdel.


Back in his home town of Babylon after a long exile, the Iraqi-born director Abbas Fahdel asks himself: "What has become of my friends? What has life here made of them? What would life here have made of me had I not decided to follow the course of destiny elsewhere?" In his search and inquiries, his encounters with the friends of his youth, it is the situation today in Iraq that is revealed through the camera's eye: the ravages of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, the after-effects of the Iran-Iraq war, the Gulf War and the embargo imposed by the United Nations.


Abbas Fahdel (voice-over): "The past, with its overwhelming splendour and its scents of paradise lost, is too painful for Iraqis to bear. I recall my father reciting the poet Al-Rissafi: "We are not masters of our miserable present / On men of a foregone age / The face of time once smiled / But on seeing us, it darkened."

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