iraq in fragments

iraq in fragments is a new documentary coming out that tells the story of present day iraq in three parts. part one, about a fatherless 11 year old child, part two is about sadr followers in two shiite cities trying to enforce islamic law at gun point, and part three follows a family of kurdish farmers who are grateful for the presence of the united states army.

director james longley spent two years filming in iraq to create this film about the war-torn country. what the film shows is iraq through the eyes of its three main ethno-religious groups - sunnis, shiites and kurds. this runs parallel to a lot of recent suggestions that iraq be split into three separate regions based along those ethno-religious lines. the basic concept would allow each section freedom to run its own affairs, with a central government that would take care of any common interests.

splitting iraq up like this is an interesting idea, but it poses some major problems. the first is that historically, whenever an outside power has re-drawn borders, especially ones along ethnic lines, it has usually resulted in violence and revolts, with the lines being adjusted according to victories and loses on the battleground. it may not happen right away, but eventually the groups just never seem to be satisfied living within the borders drawn for them. basically, whenever anyone tries to impose borders, it fails.

the other problem is the fact that when you segregate people by ethnic groups, it only helps to emphasize the differences, and marginalize the many similarities. it would be a step back rather than a step forward in terms of social development.

but some argue, who cares about social development? the primary goal is to stop the violence. you've basically got to learn how to walk before you can run. it is argued that these groups just can't live together, and the violence they're bringing down upon each other is already drawing those lines for us; they're already moving to this sort of solution, each to their own, so the argument is, why not get ahead of the curve for once?

whatever the solution is to iraq - or lack there of, this documentary seems intriguing and worth checking out.

here are some images and the trailer: