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"this one demands to be seen...mesmerizes with its insight and, rarer still, its beauty."
-- Kenneth Turan, LA Times


"In beautifully shot, almost poetic images, it takes us inside this fractured country, letting us feel what its like from the inside from three points of view--Sunni, Shiite and Kurd. ... A fascinating glimpse of an Iraq the mass media never shows us, the movie is a quiet revelation."
-- David Ansen, Newsweek


"Iraq in Fragments is the latest entry in the crowded field of documentaries from that war. It is also one of the best, partly because it is more concerned with exploring daily life and individual destinies than with articulating a position. ... Whether you think the war is right or wrong, Iraq in Fragments is a necessary reminder of just how painful and complicated it is."
-- A.O. Scott, The New York Times
[Watch A.O. Scott's "Movie Minutes" video review, registration required]


"... a one-man production of startling audacity and aesthetic provocation. ... if Longley's astonishing feat of poetic agitation has a precedent in the entire history of documentary, I'm not aware of it."
-- Rob Nelson, The Village Voice


"Stands head and shoulders above an overcrowded field of documentaries about the Iraq war...This visually sumptuous movie richly deserves the cinematography, editing and directing prizes it carried off at Sundance last January."
-- Ella Taylor, LA Weekly


"James Longley's mesmerizing Iraq in Fragments shakes off the oversaturated video vocabulary that has defined media coverage of the war-torn country and brings a cinematic beauty, both terrifying and ethereal"
-- Stephen Garret, Indiewire


"The first documentary about the war in Iraq to be made by a real filmmaker...Longley has a gift for intimacy and an eye for vagrant touches of beauty everywhere"
-- The New Yorker


"Iraq in Fragments is astonishing, both in its beauty and its breadth. While Longley's use of jump-cuts and visual collages has the feel of an art piece, it is the director's contact with his subjects that is truly astounding."
-- Dan Glaister, The Guardian


"Iraq in Fragments is a stunningly beautiful film ... What this movie shows, you will never see on the evening news"
-- Michael Moore


"Not just another Iraq war doc...Whether or not James Longley's boldly stylized reportage breaches public indifference, its enduring value is assured: When the war is long gone, this deft construction will persist in relevance, if not for what it says about the mess we once made, then as a model of canny cinematic construction."
-- Nathan Lee, The Village Voice


"The movie is more than the sum of its fragments. The montages are intense, the images ravishing. The movie is tactile. When you finally feel this place, you understand just how little you understand."
-- David Edelstein, New York Magazine


"Viewed by many as the ultimate cinematic statement on Iraq...Mr. Longley is both a tremendously skilled filmmaker and a brave one, having spent two and a half years gathering his footage. Iraq in Fragments is a valuable document and, given the security situation, perhaps the last, and the most enduring, of its kind."
-- New York Sun


"Grade: A. Longley looks and listens, with nonjudgmental sensitivity, as Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish Iraqis explain their colliding, intractable, invaded worlds, and their rising frustrations. He lets people be people, not position-holders. The calm poetry of the cinematography offsets the mess of the politics to stunning effect."
-- Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly


"Terrific...something close to a documentary masterpiece."
-- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon


"Longley's sensitive eye for imagery and graceful camerawork ... gives the film a beauty rarely seen ..."
-- Seattle Post-Intelligencer


"highly recommended; a beautifully shot, fascinating and informative portrait ... a searing vision of this historical miasma."
-- Time Out London


"an Iraq that you haven't likely seen before ... stunning"
"Iraq in Fragments is an in-depth marvel"
-- New York Magazine


"[Iraq In Fragments is] an invitation to look again and afresh at a country many Americans may be tired of thinking about, and to be reminded of the complicated human reality underneath the politics."
-- New York Times


"a masterpiece ..."
-- Noel Murray, The Onion


"Differs dramatically from the documentaries about the occupation told from the American point of view...Not only does Longley capture the literal point of view, he also bathes many of his shots in a dark, golden light that mirrors the shadowy threat posed by the country's violent, unsettled state."
-- Eric Monder, Film Journal


"Iraq in Fragments is a beautifully filmed biography of a country on the verge of civil war."
-- Peter Byck, Lousiville Courier-Journal


"A patient, lyrically photographed, closely observed meditation that pays calm attention to aspects of Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish daily life."
-- Entertainment Weekly


"a rarity ... an extraordinary journalistic coup"
-- Film Comment


"***** (5 Stars - Perfect!) A raw and powerful film that demands to be seen!"

-- Phil Hall, Film Threat


"The [San Francisco International Film] festival's best doc ... stunning"
-- Gregg Rickman, SF Weekly


"Magnificent" and "The best movie yet about the Iraq war...Stunningly lyrical"
-- The Stranger


"Not a moment from these Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish daily lives is familiar from U.S. news programs, and it's all eye-opening."
-- In These Times


"a visually startling, patiently observed and deeply humanist film"
"the most lacerating and complex American doc so far about the war Over There."
-- Eye Weekly


"beautifully shot, well-edited and gives you a picture of Iraq that you've never seen before."
-- John Powers, Fresh Air



"It only takes a few minutes of watching Iraq in Fragments to recognize that the film stands apart from the Iraqumentary pack: dazzling cinematography in place of the dull visuals of the evening news, slice-of-life narration instead of talking heads. Divided into three sections, director James Longley's reportage shows us the everyday chaos in Baghdad and beyond with dramatic vividness — a vividness that, if nothing else, makes us realize how degraded most of the imagery we receive from Iraq is at the moment."
-- Max Goldberg, San Francisco Bay Guardian


"Compelling...indispensable art"
-- Stuart Klawans, The Nation



Clippings: Full Reviews and Interviews

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