Release Date : Jun 4, 2008 Wide Genre Movie :Documentary,Television,Special Interest
Mpaa Rating : Unrated
Actors :Muthana Mohmed,Nina Davenport,Peter Saraf,Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson,Liev Schreiber,Matthew Stillman,Alberto Bonilla,Elijah Wood,Steven Chinni,Eugene Hutz
Touched by the plight of an aspiring Iraqi filmmaker whose dreams of working in Hollywood seemed to fall with Baghdad, American filmmaker Liev Schreiber invites the ambitious wannabe director to intern on Everything Is Illuminated, to unexpected results. In 2004, just one year after the United States launched a devastating attack on Baghdad, MTV ran a story about a 25-year-old Iraqi film student named Muthana Mohmed, who remained determined not to let the strife that consumed his country consume his dreams as well. At the time, American actor Schreiber was preparing to make his directorial debut with the film Everything Is Illuminated. After seeing the documentary on television, Schreiber was consumed by guilt for having so many amazing opportunities in the film industry and determined to give Mohmed the chance of a lifetime by inviting him to join the production of Everything Is Illuminated in the Czech Republic. Common wisdom dictates that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions," however, and as Mohmed attempted to balance the complications of living away from home for the first time with the cultural issues that arise while working with an all-American film crew, the situation quickly began to deteriorate. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
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New Review For Movie Operation FilmmakerIf learning about other cultures shows that we're all basically alike, Operation Filmmaker is a reminder that foreign countries have their own share of nitwits, too.
Mark Rahner-Seattle Times
What might have been a vanity project emerges as a surprisingly complicated morality tale.
Frank Scheck-Hollywood Reporter
Everyone here comes out smelling bad -- that's why the film's so good.
Ty Burr-Boston Globe
This gut punch of a documentary will knock you for a loop.
Peter Travers-Rolling Stone
An exit strategy in Iraq? This self-aware study shows how hard it'll be.
Lisa Schwarzbaum-Entertainment Weekly
A ruefully funny cautionary tale about cross-cultural tone-deafness.
Lou Lumenick-New York Post
Nina Davenport's unapologetically cunning doc exceeds the sum of its parts to become almost unmanageably allegorical and even an indictment of its own shock-and-awe premise.
Rob Nelson-Film Comment Magazine
Particularly fascinating is the way in which it this documentary examines the filmmaker's relationship to the film's subject, and the role documentary filmmakers play in shaping their subjects' futures.
The antagonism between filmmaker and subject reminds us that reality is never a passive still life, but a volatile entity with its own ideas on how it is to be represented.
Bill White-Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Davenport focuses deep on the Hollywood do-gooder mentality and her own complicity in treating Mohmed as a symbol of the war and not as a flawed person.
Sean Means-Salt Lake Tribune
It's fearless filmmaking. And the surprising observations about cultural differences and insights into the movie production process make the whole thing worthwhile.
Jeff Vice-Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Veteran documentary filmmaker Nina Davenport parses an ill-conceived experiment in cross-cultural understanding that began with the best intentions.
Maitland McDonagh-TV Guide's Movie Guide
The whole film could be seen a metaphor for America's misadventures in Iraq: Schreiber and company came in expecting flowers and sweets from a grateful native, and wound up in a quagmire.
Scott Tobias-AV Club
As the story of an exasperating, manipulative, lazy and entitled young man, it's one for the books.
Mark Keizer-Boxoffice Magazine
Despite the dubious moral of the film and on-the-fly camera technique, it is interesting to watch the pathetic story unfold.
Eric Monder-Film Journal International
Engaging, provocative, and often discomforting, Operation Filmmaker reveals increasing tensions between Muthana and his would-be benefactors, including filmmaker Nina Davenport.
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Movie Overview For Operation FilmmakerAlex Rider thinks he is a normal school boy, until his uncle is killed. He discovers that his uncle was actually spy on a mission...
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