Leaving Iraq for a Life in America
A short documentary about finding home.
Leaving Iraq for a Life in America is a short documentary co-directed by Luisa Conlon, Hanna Miller, and Lacy Jane Roberts. It was featured in THE ATLANTIC SELECTS as part of a short series of films curated by The Atlantic.
The film received the Robert Whittington Award for Excellence in Reporting from UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, and a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society for Professional Journalists.
From The Atlantic:
In 2007, Ahmed Al Kubaisi was walking past the American base in Fallujah, Iraq, when he was allegedly shot by an American sniper. Al Kubaisi, then 15 years old, was paralyzed from the waist down. This short film by Luisa Conlon, Hanna Miller, and Lacy Jane Roberts chronicles how Al Kubaisi left his family behind and was resettled in the Bay Area in 2013 by the UN Refugee Agency. Predictably, he has complicated feelings to navigate about America—having suffered greatly during the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but also finding treatment and making friends upon moving.
The filmmakers are working on a longer documentary about Al Kubaisi, as well as a short film about Syrian women responding to the refugee crisis in Jordan. This documentary was supported by UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. The video features an original score by musician Nicholas Littlemore, of the band Empire of the Sun.