Bagdad High–HBO Tonight
Speaking of war and capitalism… for Baghdad High, directors Laura Winter and Ivan O’Mahoney gave four Iraqi high school seniors digital cameras and basic instruction in filmmaking. The result is a wrenching look inside a country tormented and destroyed by a war–not of their making, which has produced four million refugees. Each of the boys–all friends–belongs to a different religion or sect, including a Christian who must hide his affiliation. In-between bomb explosions, electrical outages and military-enforced curfews they listen to American popular music, talk on their cell phones, like ordinary teenagers, and do their best to prepare for their final exams, even as they must adapt to a daily world of “no good news.” But when two of the boys and their families (and half the students at their high school) flee north from Baghdad, it marks the end of their filming and the continuation of an uncertain future.