Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) by Abbas Fahdel has won the Doc Alliance Selection Award. The winning film is composed of two parts – the first was shot before the US army’s invasion of Iraq while the second part captures the post-war events – providing an essential report on the turning point in the country’s development. Instead of shorthand news features on the events in Iraq, it brings an impressive portrayal of life in the country. Director Fahdel received the award at the Locarno film festival.
1999 / Canada / 78 min
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It is about the people who discovered and spread the use of marijuana as a recreational drug, the sailors, jazzmen, entertainers, blacks and Mexicans, poets and beatniks, as well as their antagonists in the Bureau of Narcotics, headed by Harry Anslinger, (author of Marijuana: Assasin of Youth), who sought to drive grass underground.
Edited out of 500 hours of archival footage on the history of marijuana in North America, the film focusses on a long lasting and fierce prohibition that has seen the number of North American pot smokers rise from 60,000 (at the time it was outlawed) to 30 million.
GRASS is an informative and entertaining kaleidoscope of the longest-running and most disobeyed prohibition in the history of the USA, an epic tale of how Government bureaucrats created a climate which turned literrally millions of users, at least technically, into criminals.
As Mann says, the US Government managed to achieve exactly the opposite in the case of marijuana. In spite of contunuous and ferocious repression it went from being a recreation activity of Hispanic and African minorities to being a widespread, middle class activity. It’s incredible that people don’t know the history of GRASS in North America, how it was used as a scapegoat to target minorities, how factual data about it was again and again covered up in favor of the hysteria, and how it has been lumped with harder drugs.
|Dir. of Photography||Robert Fresco|
|Editing||Sue Len Quon|
|Sound||Mike Rosnick,Tom Trafalski|
|Tags||America, compilation, historical, society|
1999 Toronto Film Festival ...
1999 Toronto Film Festival, Canada
2000 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Argentina
2000 Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Czech Republic
2000 Bergen International Film Festival, Norway
2000 Stockholm International Film Festival, Sweden
2001 Genie Awards, Canada