Australien 2005 – Director: Wayne Coles-Janess – Original language: english, arabic – Subtitles: english


We all knew the coverage of the war in Iraq was a product of media frenzy, each reporter covering the stories and bending them to fit their own agendas. The media likes the good guys, throws in a few pantomime villains for dramatic value and on the stage that Iraq became, the Iraqis themselves were only ever villains or victims. In the Shadow of the Palms paints an entirely different picture of the 'liberators' and 'liberated' through the lives of people living in Iraq before during and after the invasion. Meeting Iraqis from all walks of life: an Imam, a cobbler, a wrestling trainer and a professor of Arabic literature, we build up a picture of a vibrant and courageous people in the midst of exceptional circumstances.

Life is lived out in coffeehouses, schools, mosques and at birthday parties at the same time preparations are made for war. Then the chaos of the bombardment is recorded and we see the haunting images of a family dug out from the rubble. Finally, the volatile days of 'peacekeeping' are established and in comparison with the usual tabloid fodder, we begin to evaluate the war from an entirely different perspective, from a proud and ancient people who have and will always overcome their circumstances.

Camera: Wayne Coles-Janess. Production: Ipso-facto productions. Producer: Wayne Coles-Janess. Length: 90 min.