Nowhere To Hide effectively documents life in war-torn Iraq

Zaradasht Ahmed’s film – seen through the eyes of a nurse at an emergency hospital – doesn’t debate politics or explain the country’s state of affairs

Last updated on July 11th, 2020 at 06:46 pm

NOWHERE TO HIDE (Zaradasht Ahmed). 86 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (June 30). See listing. Rating: NNN

An immersive look at life in Iraq after the U.S. pulled out, Zaradasht Ahmed’s Nowhere To Hide doesn’t debate politics or explain the country’s state of affairs. The film is far too deep in the rubble and daily grind, seen through the eyes of Nori Sharif, who deems the war “undiagnosed.”

If Sharif dismisses explanations for war, it’s perhaps because he’s gotten accustomed to one cause being substituted with another. All he knows is the toll war inflicts on the ground.

Sharif is a nurse at Jalawla Emergency Hospital, which is situated in the region known as the “triangle of death.” Early in the doc, Ahmed hands Sharif a camera so he can keep a video journal, capturing the bleeding bodies that come into the hospital or the charred vehicles that are detonated nearby.

In the early sequences, Sharif stays optimistic and hopeful, counting his blessings at home with his wife and kids. You see his face harden as the years pass, especially after they flee their hometown when ISIS takes over and move around seeking refuge in overcrowded shelters. 

The only sign of hope is that Sharif keeps filming.

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