sun 25/07/2021

Iraq

Danny Boy, BBC Two review - when law and war collide

The issue of public inquiries into the conduct of the military is in the headlines again, with a current focus on Northern Ireland, but at the centre of screenwriter Robert Jones’s Danny Boy was the attempt to find British soldiers guilty of war...

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Mosul, Netflix review - gruelling story of Iraq's Nineveh SWAT team

It may seem incongruous that a factually-based film about Iraqis battling against murderous Islamic State invaders should have been produced by the Russo brothers, famous for Marvel’s Avengers and Captain America blockbusters. However, Hollywood...

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Blueprint Medea, Finborough Theatre online review – well-meaning but clunky update

Medea is the original crazy ex-girlfriend: the wronged woman who takes perfectly understandable revenge on the man who made her life hell. In Blueprint Medea, a new adaptation premiered at the Finborough Theatre in May 2019 and available on YouTube...

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Baghdad Central, Channel 4 review - thriller set in the aftermath of the Iraq war

Inspector Muhsin al-Khafaji of the Iraqi police may be set to become one of those classically dog-eared, depressed and down-at-heel detectives who have proliferated in crime fiction. He could join a lineage that includes Martin Cruz Smith’s battered...

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Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar, Channel 5 review - a diverting melding of fact and fiction

Christmas and Agatha Christie are a very good fit – how better to spend time with your loved ones than sitting down to watch some murder and intrigue together? So Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar was an early festive treat, another enjoyable melding...

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Sons of Denmark review - political thriller stirs cauldron of hot-button issues

The first feature by Copenhagen-born director Ulaa Salim dives boldly into a cauldron of hot-button issues – terrorism, racism, nationalism and fascism. It’s set in 2025, in a Denmark suffering from bomb attacks and violently polarised politics....

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First Person: Hannah Khalil on museum as metaphor in her new play for the RSC

It all started in 2009 in the National Portrait Gallery. I’d had a meeting nearby so popped in to get a cuppa and stare at the beautiful rooftop view of London from their top-floor café, but a picture caught my eye. It was part of an exhibition of...

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The Deminer review - life on the edge in Iraq

Major Fakhir is a deminer, responsible for disarming hundreds of mines around Mosul every week. His American counterparts know him by a different title: Crazy Fakhir, a man who rides the edge of his luck, constantly in imminent danger. Yet to him,...

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Michael Rakowitz: The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, Fourth Plinth review - London's new guardian

Fifteen years ago on a cold grey Saturday in mid-February, Trafalgar Square was filled with people marching to Hyde Park in opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq. A million people gathered in London. Three times that number turned out in Rome...

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Lisa Halliday: Asymmetry review - unconventional and brilliant

Lisa Halliday’s striking debut novel consists of three parts. The first follows the blooming relationship between Alice and Ezra (respectively an Assistant Editor and a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer) in New York; the middle section comprises a...

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Roma Agrawal: Built review - solid love

"I've been known to stroke concrete," writes self-professed geek Roma Agrawal – and from the very beginning of her memoir-cum-introduction to structural engineering, Built, where she describes her awe as a toddler at the glass and steel canyon of...

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The Best of AA Gill review - posthumous words collected

Word wizard. Grammar bully. Sentence shark. AA Gill didn’t play fair by syntax: he pounced on it, surprising it into splendid shapes. And who cared when he wooed readers with anarchy and aplomb? Hardly uncontroversial, let alone inoffensive (he...

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