13-24 nov 2024
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Hiding Saddam Hussein

Hiding Saddam Hussein

Halkawt Mustafa
Norway, Iraq
2023
96 min
World Premiere
Frontlight
Synopsis

The footage of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein crawling out of a hole in the ground in 2003 is iconic. Now, 20 years later, the man who dug that hole tells the fantastical story of how he, an ordinary farmer, hid the deposed president beneath a flowerbed in his garden for eight months.

On camera, he talks about the day his house was selected as a hideaway for this wanted man, hunted by 150,000 US soldiers. The Iraqi farmer had no choice but to assume the role of presidential hairdresser, physician and bodyguard—and something akin to a friendship seems to have grown between them as they ate together and helped wash each other’s backs.

His story is richly illustrated with re-enacted scenes interspersed with clips from news reports of the time. The farmer had no plans to violate his duty as a host, even when the US offered a reward of $25 million. He talks in detail about how this huge secret was able to remain hidden for so long.

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Credits
96 min
color
DCP
Spoken languages: Arabic
Director
    Halkawt Mustafa
    Halkawt Mustafa
Production
    Halkawt Mustafa for Hene Films AS,
    Janne Hjeltnes,
    Anders Herein
    Halkawt Mustafa for Hene Films AS,
    Janne Hjeltnes,
    Anders Herein
Co-production
    Ako Mohammed for Rudaw Media Network,
    Salwan Zaito for Babylon Media
    Ako Mohammed for Rudaw Media Network,
    Salwan Zaito for Babylon Media
Cinematography
    Kjell Vassdal,
    Anders Herein
    Kjell Vassdal,
    Anders Herein
Editing
    Halkawt Mustafa
    Halkawt Mustafa
Sound
    Kristoffer Endresen
    Kristoffer Endresen
Sound Design
    Kristoffer Endresen
    Kristoffer Endresen
Screenplay
    Halkawt Mustafa
    Halkawt Mustafa
Music
    Trond Bjerknes
    Trond Bjerknes
Involved TV Channel
    TV2 Norway,
    Rudaw Media Network
    TV2 Norway,
    Rudaw Media Network
Screening copy
    Hene Films AS
    Hene Films AS

Stills

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