Tuesday, September 4, 2007
|After the U.S. armed forces entered Iraq in April 2003, Watai Takeharu remained in Iraq to continue shooting portraits of Iraqi citizens in the war-ravaged country. In Baghdad, Samawa, Falluja, and at Abu Ghraib, Watai listened to the voices of the Iraqi people, and succeeded in catching glimpses of the truth about the Iraq War that mainstream media have failed to capture. From the footage of over 123 hours which resulted from his one-and-a-half-year-long research in Iraq, a film has now been competed.
March 2003, before air-raids started, life in Baghdad was graced with the smiling faces and laughter of children.
Soon, the bombings started and have resulted in many deaths and injuries. Takeharu Watai, the director was there when the U.S. Army entered Baghdad, and witnessed a woman standing in front of a U.S. tank and shouting, "How many children have you killed? Go to the hospital and see the people dying!"
At these words, Wata visited Thawra Hospital in Baghdad. There in the middle of the tragic mess, he met Ali Saqban, 32, whose daughter was dying. Saqban lost two elder brothers during the Iran-Iraq War, and was himself injured during the Kuwait invasion. Now he has lost three of his children by the U.S. entry into Iraq. "I don't think people were created to kill people," he says as he kneels in front of his children's graves.
Hadeel, 12, lost her right eye by the cluster bomb, an inhuman weapon used by the U.S.A, and Ahmad his right hand. By showing these families who are torn apart and hurt by the war, Watai questions the audiences in Japan and in the world as to the "significance" of the war.
Watai Takeharu was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1971. He started working as a journalist in 1997, and, since 1998, has worked with Asia Press International, a news agency consisting of a group of independent video journalists, He has worked in many places and on many issues including Sri Lankan civil war, Sudanese famine, East Timor and the Aceh's struggle for independence, the religious strife in Indonesia's Maluku, and in Afghanistan, etc. after the simultaneous multiple terrorist attacks in the U.S.A. In 2003, he sent video reports and messages, and appeared in live broadcasts from air-raided Baghdad for various TV shows including "News Station" (TV Asahi) and "Chikushi Tetsuya's News 23" (TBS), etc. For his reporting activities, Watai received the 2003 Vaughn-Ueda Awards Special Prize and the 41st Galaxy Awards Excellent Reporting Prize.
"Little Birds: A devastating window on the war"
Gregory Elich, Electronic Iraq, 29 August 2006
Midnight Eye Review by Jasper Sharp gLittle Birdsh Jan 22, 2006
"Documenting hell on Earth: At a theater near you"
"Don't cry, Daddy, we've become birds in heaven." | Watai Takeharu's Little Birds
"Japanese journalist's movie on Iraq war screened in U.S."
When sending email, please include the words "LITTLE BIRDS" in the subject, otherwise it is likely be thrown out as SPAM.