On 30 January 2005, two years after the American invasion, parliamentary elections were held in Iraq. In My Country, My Country, Laura Poitras documents the chaotic run-up to election day.
Poitras shows a country beset by violent attacks. The American occupiers, foreign election monitors and the Iraqis themselves all doubt it will be safe to go to the ballot box. A political party representing the country’s Sunni minority becomes the target of threats and decides to boycott the election.
The director worked with a great degree of freedom, and was able to film at Abu Ghraib prison, for example, and at US Army briefings. Riyadh, a Sunni doctor, is the heart and soul of the film. When he decided to become a candidate he knew there was little chance of success, but the boycott means he’s got no hope at all—even members of his own family hardly dare to vote for him.