On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music

Jun 24 - Jun 25

(Marsha Emerman, Australia, 2015, 79 min)

Seattle premiere! Director in attendance!

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Saturday, Jun 24 at 07:30PM
Sunday, Jun 25 at 04:00PM

As a young boy, Majid Shokor loved singing and listening to music in the cafes and markets of Baghdad. Music and acting were his passions, but Saddam’s brutal regime shattered his dreams and forced him to flee.
 
Australia is a safe haven, but the music of childhood lingers in Majid’s mind. He begins to search and makes a startling discovery – that many of the best-known Iraqi songs were written by Iraqi Jews.
 
What happened to these Iraqi Jewish musicians? How was this history so well hidden?
 
Majid embarks on a bold journey to find out more. His quest takes him from Australia to Israel, Europe and Iraq to meet great Iraqi musicians and hear their stories. Young and old, Muslim, Jewish and Christian, they all play the same songs and share a sense of loss and longing for their homeland.
 
A music critic and composer living in exile, whose defiance of censorship nearly cost him his life, helps to unravel the hidden history. Majid’s dream of a unifying concert bears fruit when Iraqi musicians of all faiths perform together in a joyful celebration at London’s Barbican Centre.
 
“Magnificent. Beautifully filmed and paced, with a rich array of personalities and music.” - ABC Radio National
 
“An extraordinary story of cultural resilience and identity.” – The Conversation
 
“A compelling affirmation of the power of song to mend hearts and bridge cultural and religious divides.” – Metro Magazine
 

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