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Date: Thursday 22 June 2017
Price: Free with museum entry
The Volleyball Players from Baghdad is both an intimate film about a group of friends who have played volleyball together in London for twenty years, and the untold story of Iraq, an insight into how the country developed through the eyes of the Jews, Iraq's first wave of refugees.
From picnics on the Tigris and royal balls, to hangings, imprisonment and escape, moving individual stories take us from past to present unfolding onto the wider story of the Middle East. In their lives are played out the consequences of the monarchy imposed by the British, Nazi influence, the creation of Israel and the rise of Saddam Hussein.
After 2,600 years living peacefully in the area, in one generation the community vanishes. With vivid testimony, home movies and news archive, as well as footage from Iraq today, we follow the lives of families trying to make sense of turbulent times.
The screening explores the Sephadi refugee experience and marks Refugee Week.
'Volleyball Players of Baghdad' is followed by a discussion featuring Director Fiona Murphy and David Dangoor, who features in the documentary.
The discussion will be chaired by Lyn Julius.
David Dangoor was born in New York and grew up in Baghdad. He was until recently President of the Elders of the S&P Sephardi Community since 2011. David has been a promoter of interfaith harmony for many years and has recently taken on the role of Chair of the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London’s Faith Council.
Fiona trained at the BBC and now works as a self-shooting independent, telling political stories that are well known from a perspective that is not. Buffeted by world events, the collateral damage of ethnic conflict, Fiona's subjects see the over-arching narrative of countries formed and dissolved from their own oblique angle. Using the music that was theirs, and returning to them the world that was theirs, Fiona's subjects bring back a life that was lost with wry independence and humour. Her film The Other Irish Travellers ran on BBC4's Storyville and Remember Baghdad will be released in the Autumn of 2017.
The daughter of Jews who fled Iraq in 1950, Lyn Julius is a journalist, blogger and founder of Harif, the UK Association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. Her book about Jews from Arab countries, 'UPROOTED', will be published by Vallentine Mitchell later this year.
(Dir. Fiona Murphy, 2013, 60 mins)