Skip to main content

Young Iraqi filmmakers break taboos

Iraq is witnessing the growth of a new generation of young filmmakers, but they face serious challenges from society over the content of the films.
Read in 

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Two young Iraqi filmmakers have been taking on forbidden subjects in their productions despite the risks involved from offending tribal customs and traditions as well as some religious groups. Zamen Ali, who graduated from Baghdad University's Faculty of Fine Arts this year, has produced a short movie featuring a lesbian relationship, while the director, Wareth Kwaish, has finished shooting “Disco Baghdad,” a film about the nightlife of young people in Iraq.

Ali's film takes place against the backdrop of credible threats by militant groups against homosexuals and anyone considered to be flamboyant in some way. Earlier this month, Karar Noushi, a young Iraqi actor and visual arts student, was stabbed and killed after being kidnapped by militias in Baghdad. Last year, Human Rights Watch documented kidnappings, executions and torture of gay men and men perceived to be gay by militia groups, including Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.