Bittersweet Baghdad

Ayo Fagbemi is a head editor at Diss, and runs Thyme Creative Company. This piece is looking at the stunning work of Alia Hassan, in his film “BITTERSWEET BAGHDAD”

Alia Hassan and his allegorical crew have proven their talent pushing the boundaries of videography. Their clear eye for style, attention to detail  and penchant for creativity has captured the true essence of many styles of music from artists such as the House of Pharoahs, Gone Ghastly and aeth. This is something many videographers cannot claim to have done, or at least well. With this film allegorical led by Alia Hassan have chosen to taken the opportunity to use their art to spread a positive, political and  eye-opening message with BITTERSWEET BAGHDAD.

This film indicates a refreshing attempt to tell the story of Iraq, not from the standpoint of a Westerner watching a major media outlet but giving the Iraqi people a human voice, with a selection of interviews, conducted with people who had never previously been given the opportunity to express their perception of life in Baghdad – including an exclusive dialogue with the notorious Iraqi war hero, Abu Izrael. This contrast between the West and the intimate details of relationships between men, women and children in this film manifest my own views that we are in fact ´One and the Same’. It is a story of humanity that even in turmoil people still find ways to enjoy life just as you and I, a stand to highlight modern day Iraq against the American propaganda that unfortunately has infiltrated a lot of minds. This film demonstrates that the onus is on us to detail our own stories.

In terms of his direction with this film it is clear to say a lot of hard work has been put in by Alia, in that he himself was opened up to detailing the experiences of a different environment whilst in Iraq. ´The filming process was a fresh experience for me – from a purely scenic point of view, Baghdad was not like any environment I had ever shot before.´ Throughout the film Alia sense of exploration not only provides a level of education but also immerses you, the viewer and also himself the director in the ´culture and mind of the city in a depth to which I would never have otherwise reached.´ This film is his debut documentary and speaking to Alia it is obvious it is one in which countless hours were put into make this project portray ´the true human nature of all people in the screen regardless of race, creed or country of birth´.

Think to yourself what do you know about Iraqi people, so if you care about humanity watch this film!

words by Ayo Fagbemi

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