Iraqi helmer al-Daradji was so determined to shoot his feature debut “Ahlaam” on the streets of his native Baghdad, he resorted to wielding a camera in one hand and an AK-47 in the other on the set. During filming, he was kidnapped twice and shot at both by insurgents and U.S. troops. That he survived to tell the tale is a testament to al-Daradji’s desire to get the Iraqi point of view heard above the cacophony of opinions about the situation in his war-torn country. Al-Daradji is prepping his sophomore feature, “Um Hussein,” which he again intends to film on location in Iraq later this year.
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