Hidden story of Iraq's music hits big screen in Bendigo

TAEL: Majid Shokor, left, with Elias Shasha, one of the people he meets on a journey to discover the stories behind Iraq's music.

TAEL: Majid Shokor, left, with Elias Shasha, one of the people he meets on a journey to discover the stories behind Iraq's music.

A feature-length documentary telling the stories of Iraq’s music and musicians will hit the big screen in Bendigo on Sunday.

On the Banks of the Tigris follows writer, researcher and actor Majid Shokor as he makes his way from Australia to Europe, Israel and his home country of Iraq to meet Iraqi musicians, learn their stories, hear their music and unite them in concert in the name of peace and reconciliation.

It will be screened at Star Cinema at 3pm tomorrow in an event hosted by the Rural Australians for Refugees Bendigo group.

The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with director Marsha Emerman, and an afternoon tea.

As a child, Mr Shokor loved singing and listening to music in the cafes and markets of Baghdad, before he was forced to flee to Australia under the brutality of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

But the love of music lingers and after conducting research, Mr Shokor learns that many of the best-loved songs were written by Iraqi Jews.

The discovery takes him on an international journey, culminating in a concert performed by Iraqi people of all faiths in London.

The film has attracted praise internationally, winning best documentary at the Baghdad International Film Festival and the audience choice award at the Arab Film Festival in the United States.

It was also a finalist for best social and political issues documentary at the ATOM Awards in Australia.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 concession.

For more information or to book, call 5446 2025.

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