Iraqi theater director Mohsen Sadoon Yasin has spent much of his life in involuntary exile. His daughter, Ishtar Yasin Gutiérrez, has constructed a loving film portrait of her father, and an elegy for a homeland to which they can never return—partly because it has changed so much, and partly because it was perhaps always more a concept than a reality.
The filmmaker tracks her father’s global travels using family photographs, theatre posters and newspaper clippings, as well as sound recordings and extracts from letters they sent to one another, with stamps from Costa Rica, Chile and Denmark. And she films her father in the here and now, capturing his face, his hand, his stories.
There is little structure, at least not in the chronological sense. The film is a patchwork of imaginings, textures and references— references to theater, rituals and Sumerian cosmology. There is also the constant presence of Iraq, the inaccessible core that Mohsen Sadoon Yasin carries within him, along with the folk songs still echoing in his mind.