We gave it a B+
On the surface, My Country, My Country, Laura Poitras’ Oscar-nominated doc about the 2005 Iraqi election, might seem dated. Instead, this searing portrait is revelatory because her observant camera goes everywhere, capturing (sometimes too fleetingly) Iraq’s unraveling with you-are-there immediacy. Poitras follows a weary Sunni doctor and candidate named Riyadh as he examines patients in a Baghdad clinic and spends time with his family at home, where the angry, mordant discussions — often accompanied by gunfire and bombs outside or on TV — revolve around the unpopular American occupation. At Abu Ghraib, Riyadh consoles prisoners, among them a 9-year-old boy; later, he listens to a relative whose son has been kidnapped. Meanwhile, in the Green Zone, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage extols changing ”the face of the Middle East”; elsewhere Iraqis are trained to guard election sites and a U.N. rep expresses hope. After the election, Riyadh’s daughter says, ”Life is a tragedy.” And that was the Iraq of two years ago.