Amal's Garden
Nadia Shihab
2012 - 33 min - HDCam - Couleur - Irak, États-Unis

“Before, here, there was only the Iraqi flag…” In Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, almost ten years after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the Kurdish, Turkish and Iraqi flags fly side by side. The filmmaker of Amal’s Garden approaches this coexistence obliquely, with infinite tenderness, filming only what is intimate: the tiny details in the life of her uncle Mustafa, now in his eighties, and her aunt Amal, who is younger than her husband and takes care of him, managing the last phase of reconstruction work on their badly war-damaged house. With an informal yet discreet presence, Nadia Shihab wonderfully captures the absurdity of daily life, the pugnacious and gentle character of her aunt, who is capable of recounting in the same breath how “the Arabs over there took our houses” and giving her niece the recipe of the dish she is preparing. The filmmaker includes multiple shots of the garden, which has become the haven of her old singing uncle as well as the place where her aunt first busies herself in the morning: as such, it becomes a delicate synecdoche of the “land” – the thing for which most wars have been fought.
(Charlotte Garson, Cinéma du réel 2013)

Author-Director : Nadia Shihab
Photography : Nadia Shihab
Sound : Philip Perkins
Editing : Nadia Shihab, Sara Maamouri
Delegate Producer : Nadia Shihab


Distributor : Nadia Shihab
VOD : Universciné


2013 - Cinéma du réel, Paris (France) : Compétition Internationale courts métrages
2012 - DIFF (Dubai International Film Festival), Dubaï (Émirats arabes unis) : Sélection Première mondiale