An extraordinary collaboration between Belgian artist Francis Alÿs and a group of children from a mountain village near Mosul, Iraq. Sundance 2020.
is the story of history itself. Over several years, Alÿs worked on a series of film projects in Iraq. When he asked the village children, “Where is your country?” they answered, “Here, my village of Nerkzlia.” Realising they had never heard of the concept of ‘Iraq’, Alÿs collaborates with the children to re-enact a century of Iraqi history. With charming jubilance, the children dramatise key moments, from the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement in May 1916 (which ultimately created the country of Iraq by drawing lines in the sand, while laying the foundations for outside interference in the Middle East), through to the Islamic State’s influence of terror in 2016. As the children revisit the past, they begin to make sense of their present.