An absorbing story... smartly put together. --Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
You won't know whether to laugh or cry. I did both. --Peter Travers, Rolling Stones
Top Customer Reviews
It is at this point that director Nina Davenport decides to make a documentary about Muthana's experiences. She follows Muthana from Iraq to Czech Republic and films his interactions with Muthana's sponsors, film crew, actors and everyone else on the set. From the start, things are off. It seems that Muthana's homesickness is shadowing his learning process. He quickly learns that he is in his own and will have to put more effort in order to impress people around him. Soon it becomes obvious that Muthana is not self-motivated and that his only desire is to find a way to extend his stay in Europe and eventually move to the United States.
It is interesting how people quickly read Muthana's agenda. But it is really Nina who gets sucked into young man's manipulations where he wants her to give him money, help him with his numerous visa extensions in Prague and visa applications for London School of Film. Nina seems what is going on but for the sake of her documentary where Muthana is the main protagonist she gives into his unreasonable demands and openly hostile and abusive behavior.
What was stiking to me in this documentary is the number of people who had only the best intentions for this young man.Read more ›
Mohmed is trying to fool a lot of people and that a lot of well-meaning, guilt-ridden Americans are trying hard to fool themselves. It's a little uncomfortable to watch, but, at the same time, the story propels itself forward by always leaving us wondering when and if people are going to wizen up and when Mohmed will finally return to Iraq. At first Mohmed struck me as good at self-promotion and given to hyperbole, but he's trying to make opportunities for himself, so who can blame him? Ten minutes into this film, it's obvious that he's a lazy, pathological liar. What makes this interesting is how far people are willing to indulge his manipulations because his country was the victim of American aggression and because they don't want to be culturally insensitive. On the other hand, Mohmed may really want to return to Iraq but fear that his family and friends will see him as a failure if he does.
Muthana Mohmed shouldn't be taken as typical of Iraqis, but his story could embody a number of themes: 1.Read more ›
Mohmed manages to get a visa because of the dangers in Iraq. He makes his way onto the set of "DOOM",where he has more fun because he gets to interact with the actors. The Rock gives Mohmed a fat check to go to a London film school. People see promise in him. The ending has some ironic twists--after this movie was done, Mohmed finally got a 5-year work visa to be in the UK. "Operation Filmmaker",unlike "Everything is illuminated",got considerable critical acclaim (the latter helped sink Warner Independent)
"Operation Filmmaker" manages to be poignant,exciting,tragic,and sometimes downright funny. There are sad ironies. Mohmed escapes the bloodshed of Iraq but is surrounded by fake corpses in both movies. Producers and directors come across as having ulterior motives,while actors come across as generous--and incredibly naive. Elijah Wood praises Mohmed for his gag reel (though he had other people do the work);the Rock believes Mohmed's sob story about being trapped in the rubble of a bombed building.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Muthana Mohmed is a manipulative little creep. That's the main reason why this thing went from being a nice little "making of" segment that was intended to be a ten minute segment... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Tim Lieder
It seems like producers of this film made the assumption that because Iraq is an interesting story, a story about some one from Iraq would be interesting too. Read morePublished on December 27, 2013 by Ferdosi
Davenport's attempts to pluck a 25 year old Iraqi man out of his element, place him in a foreign country and parallel his crappy work ethic to the hopeless war in Iraq is... Read morePublished on July 31, 2012 by Genesis
The concept of the documentary was lacking from the beginning. As Nina Davenport films a 25 yr old Iraqi on the set of "Everything is Illuminated" she manipulates words, events,... Read morePublished on January 26, 2009 by Ryan B. Barton