Thursday, October 18, 2007

IN THEATRES: Meeting Resistance

Opening at theaters around the country starting tomorrow (screening information is here), “Meeting Resistance” is a film that gives a voice to the shadowy Iraqi resistance that has fought the world’s most powerful imperialist country in history to a standstill. With an economy of means, this documentary accomplishes what all great art strives for, namely the humanization of its principals. With so much hatred directed against Sunni insurgents, who lack the socialist credentials of past insurgencies that attracted the solidarity of the Western left, “Meeting Resistance” takes a giant step forward in making the “enemy’s” case.

After watching this powerful film, one will have to agree with George Galloway’s assessment in a speech given at the al-Assad Library in Damascus on July 30, 2005:

"These poor Iraqis — ragged people, with their sandals, with their Kalashnikovs, with the lightest and most basic of weapons– are writing the names of their cities and towns in the stars, with 145 military operations every day, which has made the country ungovernable by the people who occupy it. We don’t know who they are, we don’t know their names, we never saw their faces, they don’t put up photographs of their martyrs, we don’t know the names of their leaders. They are the base of this society. They are the young men and young women who decided, whatever their feelings about the former regime — some are with, some are against. But they decided, when the foreign invaders came, to defend their country, to defend their honor, to defend their families, their religion, their way of life from a military superpower, which landed amongst them."

Co-directed by Steve Connors and Molly Bingham, “Meeting Resistance”

allows a group of insurgents in the Al Adhamiya district in Baghdad to explain why they decided to fight the occupation, how they are organized, and–perhaps of the greatest interest–what kind of backgrounds they have. Among the most interesting revelations is that only a small percentage can be described as Baathist “dead-enders”, the description that was offered by the Bush gang early on and that was accepted by some sectors of the left. A political science professor in Baghdad, the only interviewee who is not actually part of the resistance, estimates that less than 10 percent are Baath Party activists.


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