It was 2019, the year of protests. In Algeria, Lebanon, Iran, Hong Kong, Chile and also in Iraq, grassroots movements erupted. People rebelled against poor living conditions and a corrupt elite with its policies for the rich. In Iraq, they grew to be the largest protests since 2003. 

A young generation, born after 2003 and raised during the endless wars and conflicts, had decided to take a stand and participate in shaping their home country. They demanded more jobs and infrastructure.

In the face of strong repression, those claims turned into the maximum demand: to overthrow the entire political system that was established after the US invasion. They targeted corruption, confessionalism in politics, gender segregation and American or Iranian influence. It was time for the future generation to decide for themselves how to live in their very own country. And many were ready to die for this vision.


Stories to be told

While the streets of Baghdad were burning, I was sitting in peaceful Berlin. I was shocked and, at the same time, inspired by the courageous activists. They seemed to have nothing to lose, fearlessly marching in the face of flying bullets.

The Iraqi activist A. had come to Berlin to give a workshop about the protests. Everything he said made it feel even closer. Tangible and real. We all wanted the same freedom, didn’t we? A. and I exchanged over the happenings.

Captivated by the events, we decided to make a film about the movement together. These demonstrators’ stories were heroic tales. And we would bring them to the world.