Index / Activities / Films / Film: "The Invisible Beauty of Iraq"

Film: "The Invisible Beauty of Iraq"

December 16, 20227:30 p.m.
Casa Árabe Auditorium (Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:30 p.m. 5 euros: general admission at the box office.
4 euros: Internet, officially unemployed persons, students of the Casa Árabe Language Center and Youth Card holders, showing the proper document. No more than one discount may be applied. Advance sales at until 12:00 noon on the day of the screening. Those tickets not sold online will be put on sale on the day of the screening at Casa Árabe's headquarters one hour before each screening (payment in cash or by credit card). Tickets are numbered.
Films shown in Original Version with Spanish subtitles.

On Friday, December 16 in Madrid, Casa Árabe is hosting the premiere screening in Spain of this documentary dedicated to the memory of Iraqi photographer Laif Al Ani. The screening is taking place within the framework of the exhibition "Baghdad, a Modern Place," which can be seen at Casa Árabe's exhibition halls in Madrid until January 15.

The Invisible Beauty of Iraq. A film by Jurgen Buedts & Sahim Omar Kalifa

Latif Al Ani (1932 - 2021) was the first photographer to capture cosmopolitan life in Iraq between the 1950s and 1970s and is known as the "father of Iraqi photography.” His black and white images provide a unique visual memory of the country during its belle époque. In addition to documenting the daily life of a progressing Baghdad, its industries, its urban landscapes, etc., his work includes unique images of Iraqi cities taken from the air thanks to the airplanes that the Iraq Petroleum Company made available to him in order to properly document the modernization of the country. However, after those years of splendor, with the arrival of Saddam Hussein's oppressive regime, he stopped taking photographs. Today, his photographs bear witness to a by-gone era. His memory has been brought back to light with the exhibition held at the Iraqi Pavilion during the 2016 Venice Biennale, which has been followed by others, such as the one currently being held at Casa Árabe.

Latif Al Ani passed away on November 18 of last year. The documentary, filmed with him during his lifetime, traces his biography during the 30 years in which he photographed his country before the conflicts there. When he was 86 years old, he collaborated with the directors of this film by driving around his devastated country in his old car in search of the people and places he photographed back in the day, sharing his images with Iraqis who can no longer imagine that the world in his photographs was real. Filmed throughout five years, this cinematic masterpiece is a motion picture testimony to Iraq's most valuable archivist and a tribute to a legendary photographer who was an exceptional witness to the history of the twentieth century in the Middle East, and specifically Baghdad, cradle of civilizations.

The film was produced by The Belgians, with co-production by Faites un voeu, Arte France, Al Jazeera Network, AVROTROS, CANVAS, The Knowledge Network Canada. It was supported by B-F-Comté, CNC COSIP, Grand Est, Proc. ANG, IMS, Bertha Foundation, Field of Vision, Belgian tax shelter; and with the collaboration of Creative Europe, Flanders film fund, screen Flanders.
Film: "The Invisible Beauty of Iraq"
Documentary poster

Related content

Baghdad, a Modern Place (1958-1978). Latif al Ani

As part of the cultural schedule held in “Football for Hope,” which we are holding in parallel with the Qatar World Cup of 2022, Casa Árabe is presenting this exhibition. You can see it in Madrid as of November 4.
From November 4, 2022 until January 15, 2023 MADRID

The legacy of Latif Al Ani

On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition “Baghdad, a Modern Place (1958-1978),” on the legacy of Iraqi photographer Latif Al Ani, the exhibition’s curator, Pedro Azara, will be giving a conference about this unique creator. It will be held in Madrid on Thursday, November 3 before the official opening event.
November 3, 2022 MADRID