Previously at the ICA - Films

Salaam Dunk, Dir: David Fine, 2011

Salaam Dunk

25 Mar 2012

With plenty of pop music and 'girl power', David Fine delivers a tale of hope and inspiration courtesy of one winning group of Iraqi women basketball players. Picture a typical group of 20-year-old women - but at the American University in Sulaimani, Iraq, playing basketball. They came from all corners of Iraq to attend this prestigious university, but many cannot tell family back home they go to an "American" university. The team itself is a "mini Iraq" - comprised of Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, and Christians. There are Laylan and Enji, the team captains, Safa, the manager, and Ryan, their American coach.

Through traditional interviews and personal video diaries, we learn about the women, their families and their experiences since 2003 and 'the invasion'. Their narratives give us a rare 'human' look at recent events in Iraq with stories of loss and choices that have to be made. Education is the difference between the past and the future for these women and basketball is a huge part of that education. Their team is like a family and the game is like life. And as Coach Ryan says: sports teaches fight and resilience, but who knows fight and resilience better than these women?

Dir: David Fine, Iraq and US, 2011, In Arabic and Kurdish with English subtitles, 82mins, 15 cert

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