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NHNew Horizons

The Silence of the Shepherd

The Silence of the Shepherd

Original Title: Samt Al Rai
Director: Raad Mushatat
Iraq | Arabic
2014 | 104min.
Subtitles: English
Format: DCP
Thirteen-year-old Zahra lives in a village on the edge of the desert in the south of Iraq. She goes to fetch water one day and doesn’t return. Mystery surrounds her disappearance. Gradually, tongues begin to wag, and before the pride of the girl’s family comes into question, her father vows to find the answers. But the only person who already has the answer remains silent. In an autocratic society, silence, unfortunately, becomes the main feature of life. It becomes the one sanctuary that individuals take shelter in, but when fear dominates and silence becomes a refuge, the fate of one becomes the destiny of all. While there is a political undertone to the story, and Mushatat alludes to it, he does not allow himself to be carried away by this dimension of the film, choosing instead to emphasize that nothing can weaken a society and strengthen abusive authority more than silence. While most films from Iraq and the Arab world in recent times have focused on urban life, this film deserves a special mention for its choice of a rural backdrop. It is also worth mentioning that Mushatat has lined up an talented all-Iraqi cast and crew for his film, from among the top professionals living in as well as outside of Iraq. —Intishal Al Timimi

Director,  Raad Mushatat

Director,  Raad Mushatat

Raad Mushatat was born in Baghdad, which he left before the first Gulf War broke out. He lived in many countries before settling in London, where he studied filmmaking. His short films include Shahrazad, Ankeedo and The Soldier’s Lullaby. He made TV documentaries chronicling the events in Iraq after 2003, including Five Faces, The Inferno, Foretold Death and The Suicide of the Prime Minister. Mushatat is currently working on developing the script for his new film project The Cellular Memory.

Cast and Crew

Director
Raad Mushatat
Cast
Mahmoud Abo Al Abbas, Samer Kahtan, Alaa Najeem, Murtadha Habbeb, Nahar Sadayo, Ahmed Sharji
Production Company
Film and Theatre Foundation
Sales Contact
Esmail Al Jebory
Music
Duraid Fadhil
Screenwriter
Raad Mushatat
Editor
Mahmoud Mushatat
Cinematographer
Ziad Turkey
Production Designer
Tamara Noori
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