Captivating drama by Leeds-based film director selected for Oscars 

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Leeds-based film director Al-Daradji

The latest, heartfelt and captivating drama from Leeds based director Mohamed Al-Daradji and producers Human Film has been selected as the official Iraqi contender for the Oscars.

Al-Daradji’s female suicide bomber drama ‘The Journey’ has been submitted in the foreign-language Oscar race.

'The Journey' - a female suicide-bomber drama has been selected for the Oscars

The film, which is set entirely in and around Baghdad train station on a night in December 2006, premiered to positive reviews last year in Toronto. 

Variety’s Dennis Harvey said that, while “several dramas in recent years have attempted to fathom the mindset of a suicide bomber,” Iraqi-Dutch director Al-Daradji “comes up with a different, emotionally accessible approach… by surrounding his fictive terrorist’s mission within a panoply of train-station humanity, a gambit that at times is strongly reminiscent of vintage neo-realist slices of life.” 

‘The Journey’, is Al-Daradji’s fifth feature, marking the third time that the cultural committee of Iraq’s culture ministry has chosen a film by the director to represent the country in the Oscars.

Previous submissions included Al-Daradji’s ‘Ahlaam’ (in 20070, and 'Son of Babylon’ in 2010.

Also in 2010, Al-Daradji was feted with Variety’s Middle East filmmaker of the year award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

Co-produced by Iraqi Independent Film Centre Iraq, Human Film U.K, France, The Netherlands Film Fund and The Doha Film Institute, ‘The Journey’ is being touted as the first Iraqi film to be released commercially in Iraq after 27 years of wars and occupation.

Iraq has been submitting films for foreign-language Oscar consideration since 2005 but so far has not scored a nomination.

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