The Blood of My Brother | Chicago Reader

The Blood of My Brother

Andrew Berends spent six months in Iraq as an unembedded journalist and emerged with not only his hide but rare video footage of civilian life in occupied Baghdad. His 2005 documentary focuses on a single death—that of a young portrait photographer mistakenly killed by American forces in April 2004 as he guarded a mosque in Kadhimiya—and records how the family's personal grief filters out into the blind rage of the Shia uprising. The central narrative isn't as revelatory as one might expect, but as Berends moves toward the periphery he captures some harrowing images: an animal sacrifice in honor of the deceased that ends with a relative slapping a bloody handprint on the family's front gate, Iraqi police firing on a peace demonstration in Najaf, and a little girl tearfully telling how she was awakened by a missile attack and found her mother dead. In English and subtitled Arabic. 84 min.

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