2008 CIFF: “Operation Filmmaker” Review

“Operation Filmmaker” is a documentary that I highly recommend and one that I’ve learned the most unexpected things in a film. Director Nina Davenport went much much further than most documentary filmmaker would have gone, while, in my opinion, still maintain a fine balancing line of being “ethical”. Check out Nina’s director statement about the film.

Here is a short synopsis from the film’s site (emphasis added),

In the wake of “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” American actor Liev Schreiber had an idealistic notion: to rescue an Iraqi film student from the rubble of his country and bring him to the West to intern on a Hollywood movie (Everything Is Illuminated). It promised to be a heartwarming tale, a small victory out of the troubled mission of the U.S. war in Iraq. But as in the war itself, “good” intentions yielded unintended consequences, and even this operation doesn’t go according to plan. Director Nina Davenport becomes personally involved in Schreiber’s charitable effort, and soon finds herself embroiled in a complex moral quagmire and all-consuming power struggle between filmmaker and subject. Operation Filmmaker is an engaging, sometimes comical political parable, taking the viewer on a riveting ride from Baghdad to Hollywood.

Here is a clip from “Operation Filmmaker”.

P.S. The film ended with Nina looking for an “exit strategy”. It has to be one tough thing to say and admit.

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