best viewed on large screen and with proper audio device or headphones


While their location and beauty have earned the Mesopotamian Marshes the reputation of being the original Garden of Eden, the region has suffered much in recent decades. In the 1980s Iran and Iraq fought a bloody war. In the 1990s Saddam Hussein ordered much of the marshlands to be drained. Until today the marshes are surrounded by war and an expanding oil industry.

The experimental documentary Mesopotamian Marshes shines its light on many aspects of this troubled region. Alongside images of fish, flies, reed and mud the context of this nature reserve is communicated. Ranging from politics and religion to history, mythology, ethnography and geology, the detailed and divers information forms an absurd contrast with the dreamy imagery of the marshes, yet they exercise a toughtful and imaginative attraction.

Directed by Stijn Verhoeff
HD, 19 minutes, 2007

Sound by Pieter Paul Pothoven
Photographed and edited by Stijn Verhoeff
Produced by Gneisspecker
Sponsored by Fonds BKVB and
Brunel University London

Premiered at Roxy Screen London
in September 2007