“A terrifically enjoyable and engaging film: open-minded and open-hearted, and utterly unlike the material on regular commercial release”
Read the full review
“A woozy, dream-like, magical-realist movie which demonstrates that despite living amid a landscape of conflict, the minds of the children are ‘like Aladdin's caves’ ”
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The premiere debriefing
Fri 18 Dec, 2009

Our first ever screening, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, a hop skip and a jump from Buckingham Palace, was “stowed out” as we say in Scotland.

One member of the audience, who used to work with Tarkovsky, said that the film “glamorised the imagination”, which might have been meant as a criticism, but we loved the phrase, and are going to get T-shirts made that say Glamorise the Imagination!  Another person wanted us to call the country Iraqi Kurdistan.  We use the work Kurdish twice and Iraq once in the film, which is the right sort of balance we feel. Other comments included:

David Aukin, film producer extraordinaire

“You’ve made a truly remarkable film…it is not about a state but a state of mind, and this you bring off triumphantly.  The images will stay in mind forever.”

Filmmaker and former head of docs at Channel 4, Peter Dale

“I was very moved by your film.  It was tender, inspiring and eloquent.  But what I loved most about it was your voice - not just your narration (which was a model of great commentary writing) but your delicate enquiring presence which gave the film its shape and direction.  You allowed me to share in the discoveries that you made in such a rare way that I felt I became part of the film. Your approach was full of care, abundantly generous and unswervingly single-minded and I think it was that confidence and clarity that enabled me to join you and your subjects in that extraordinary landscape.  Very very generous.”

Gideon Koppel, who made last year’s acclaimed documentary Sleep Furiously

  “a beautiful, beautiful film.”

Filmmaker Antonia Bird

“Magical and truly inspiring filmmaking.”

Kevin Macdonald, filmmaker

“Cousins, it’s lovely.”

And we didn’t even bribe them.
We were well chuffed.


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