Traumatized orphan boys seek inspiration in the doc In My Mother’s Arms.
IN MY MOTHER’S ARMS (Atea Al Daradji, Mohamed Al Daradji). 92 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (August 31) at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. See Times. Rating: NNN
Lost children are a potent symbol of the ravages of war in this unspeakably sad documentary about an Iraqi orphanage.
In Sadr City, one of the country's most dangerous areas, 32 boys live in a two-room house that Husham and five other volunteer caregivers have turned into an orphanage.
Shot over several months, the doc reveals the impact of this trauma - especially on young Saif, who saw both parents killed in an explosion - while Husham attempts to raise funds for the orphanage, which has no state support.
Though sketchily shot, the film has spectacular moments, especially when the older boys try to help the younger ones with their schoolwork and when a theatre artist is enlisted to get them to open up.
But the landlord has evicted them, threatening the future of a few dozen of Iraq's 5-million-plus young orphans.