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Still My Lost Country

My Lost Country

Ishtar Yasin Gutiérrez / CR, IQ, EG, FR, CL, 2022 / 96 min.

Filmmaker Ishtar Yasin Gutiérrez uses family photographs, extracts from letters and audio recordings to construct a loving portrait of her exiled theater director father Mohsen Sadoon Yasin, and an elegy to their lost homeland of Iraq.

poster IDFA 2022

Iraqi theater director Mohsen Sadoon Yasin has spent much of his life in involuntary exile. His daughter, Ishtar Yasin Gutiérrez, has constructed a loving film portrait of her father, and an elegy for a homeland to which they can never return—partly because it has changed so much, and partly because it was perhaps always more a concept than a reality.

The filmmaker tracks her father’s global travels using family photographs, theatre posters and newspaper clippings, as well as sound recordings and extracts from letters they sent to one another, with stamps from Costa Rica, Chile and Denmark. And she films her father in the here and now, capturing his face, his hand, his stories.

There is little structure, at least not in the chronological sense. The film is a patchwork of imaginings, textures and references— references to theater, rituals and Sumerian cosmology. There is also the constant presence of Iraq, the inaccessible core that Mohsen Sadoon Yasin carries within him, along with the folk songs still echoing in his mind.

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Ishtar Yasin Gutiérrez

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96 min.


Spanish, Arabic, Russian

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IDFA 2022

Documentary lovers, keep 9 through 20 November free in your calendar. The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam presents its 35th edition in cinemas throughout Amsterdam, including several special programmes in Eye.

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