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America "owns" cinema—and so what better gift for Iraq? The move from shooting bullets to shooting film would be a welcome one

By Mark Cousins   August 2008

I’ve just returned from Iraq. Not the theatres of war of Mosul or Baghdad, but the wings, in the Kurdish north.

Like many a stage wing, Kurdish Iraq is humming. There are constant jokes about the action “down the road.” One minute the landscape is all waterfalls and rivers, with kids splashing around in dappled sunlight, then, a bit further along the same road, such bucolic scenes are replaced by biblical ones, of kids dressed in turquoise driving goats across a distant valley. Theme parks—or dream parks as they’re called here—with flumes and big wheels shimmer in the furnace heat.…

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