The Deminer: Doku über einen irakischen Entminer
Winner of the Special Jury Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2017, director Hogir Hirori and co-director Shinwar Kamal’s The Deminer begins its account after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Fakhir, a father of eight and Major in the Iraq armed forces undertakes a personal mission to disarm the thousands of mines laid across Mosul. Via home movie footage shot by his fellow troops and discovered by Fakhir’s son years later, the archival footage shows how he was able to disarm thousands of mines with just a simple knife and a pair of wire clippers.
The Deminer is a story of conviction through Fakhir’s selfless fear for the lives of innocent people that the mines prey upon. Born in the same town of Duhok, Iraqi Kurdistan, Hirori was forced to flee his home in 1999 and now lives in Stockholm, Sweden where he runs his own production company. His previous documentary The Girl Who Saved My Life saw the filmmaker travel back to his homeland in 2014 to document the refugee crisis as 1.4 million fled ISIS. Both films reveal a filmmaker looking to the consequences of violence and chaos, and the human suffering that is a result, or in The Deminer the threat to innocent lives that troubles Fakhir.
Ahead of the UK release, Hirori spoke with Flux about the challenges of bringing the story to the screen, the intimacy of cinema towards its subject, and his optimism amidst cause for cynicism.
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