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Journey’s End
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Journey’s End

Journey’s End

This lean drama is set entirely in and around Baghdad train station, a device designed to allow writer / director Mohamed Al-Daradji to include as broad a cross-section of Iraqi society as possible. At the centre of the story is an uncomfortable encounter between secular Iraq, represented by opportunistic hustler Salam (Ameer Ali Jabarah), and the religious fundamentalism which drives Sara (Zahraa Ghandour) to stand at the heart of the station with a bomb strapped to her chest and the aim of ‘purifying’ her country.

Although somewhat schematic in its choice of scenes and supporting characters – at times it feels as though the filmmakers were working through a checklist of Iraqi archetypes – the main narrative moves at a brisk pace. The talking point subject matter of the film should ensure further festival interest following its Toronto, London and Tallinn berths, and it could connect with audiences through curated VOD platforms.

The date is December 30, 2006. It’s a red letter day for the people of Baghdad. Not only is it the first day of Eid, it is also the date of the grand reopening of the train station. Along with officious policemen and milling passengers, a contingent of highly strung American soldiers are loudly keeping the peace. It is this American presence which has marked the station as a target for an attack, an operation which is orchestrated by shadowy figures that we never meet.

Duration: 107 min

Release:

IMDb: 6.7