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My Enemy, My Brother (88 min)

Maple Leaf This item is only available for Canadian orders.

Catalogue Number:  FFGL01
Producer:  Fathom Film Group Ltd.
Subject:  Canadian World Studies, Documentary, Drama, Feature Film, Global Issues, Global Studies, History, Politics, Psychology, Social Issues, Violence
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2015
Running Time:  88:12


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My Enemy, My Brother is the real life story about two enemies from the Iran-Iraq War who return to their homelands on a desperate quest to find the missing pieces of their lives. Najah and Zahed are on a blind journey that reveals, in layers, the paradox of their lives as two survivors of war, for whom the past and present are constantly in question, and where present day experience is lost in the landscape of memory and longing.

Zahed was a 13-year old Iranian boy soldier during the Iran-Iraq War. Najah Aboud was 19-years old when he was conscripted into Saddam Hussein’s forces, leaving behind a wife and son. They meet during the pivotal Battle of Khorramshahr, where Zahed finds the critically injured Najah and makes a split decision to save this enemy soldier.

Through an unbelievable set of circumstances, they meet 20 years later in a counselling centre in Vancouver. This surprise encounter with the man who saved him 2 decades ago sets Najah on a hopeful search to find his missing wife and son. 

This cinematic film contrasts with the present day verité with scenes from the past as Najah’s quest takes him into the heart of conflict in Iraq, as he peels back memories in a journey through neighbourhoods still scarred from the war, and now wracked with car bombs. His search to find his wife and son leads him to slums, a former POW prison, militias fighting ISIS, and ultimately to an Internally Displaced Camp. Everywhere Najah finds displaced boys who remind him of his son. The legacy of all the wars in this region continue to this day.

Zahed encounters his own challenges trying to meet his father who is dying of brain cancer. After two unsuccessful attempts to enter Iran Zahed goes to Turkey to meet his family, and ultimately to Iraq where his friend Najah takes him to the border of Iraq and Iran on Zahed’s final unsuccessful attempt to enter Iran. They have been, like the orphans Najah met, the lost boys of the Iran-Iraq war and the end of their quest brings them to consider a surprising new reality.

2016 OSCAR SHORTLISTED DOCUMENTARY from award-winning Canadian producer Ann Shin.


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