Stories of Passers Through, Dir. Koutaiba Al-Janabi, Iraq, 2018, 67mins, Arabic and Hungarian with English subtitles
This is the story of Iraqi filmmaker Koutaiba Al-Janabi, one of hundreds of Iraqis forced out of their homeland by the brutality of the Saddam Hussein regime. This is the story of wanderers, of a nation that no longer exists, of people that are no longer there.
Shot over 30 years and combining different forms of archival footage, this creative documentary explores slippery collective memory, nationhood and exile. In the absence of tangible literary influences in contemporary Arab cinema, autobiographies and family memories – in fiction and non-fiction – have emerged as a form of an alternative literature, drawing on self-authored narratives and family histories as a tool for legacy preservation and to link the personal with the public.