Original Postcard Art from the Iraq Ministry of Culture 1998
Saddam Hussein...The Master of Baghdad
The Untold Story of the Man and the Myth
A Film by Michel Vuillermet and Jean Pierre Beaurenaut NTSC DVD 52:00 Minutes
Produced by Les Films du Village and Planet Group Entertainment.
Update January 2016:
If you have been following recent convulsions in Syria and Iraq, you have noticed that the civil war supressed by the secular Saddam in his era, and the turmoil the Bush Administration put in play after Saddam was toppled from power, and the failed exit plan, has created a full blown war with ISIS, and a cold war with Russia. To fully understand how things were before and during the Saddam era, and before the Iraq wars began, you need to watch this film. You will understand how Saddam kept the lid on things for over three decades. Yes he was corrupt, hard fisted, and despotic, but he kept the country secular, and played a serious role in middle-east stability. How did he do it? How did he "keep the peace"?
He was the Master of Baghdad.
In the cities and surrounding countryside of Iraq, many buildings and crossroads still display a few of the tens of thousands of giant portraits that glorified Saddam Hussein. Today, they are faded by the sun, worn by the weather, and tattered like posters from a long forgotten film, featuring a withered star.
But the star’s power over the people had seemed irreversible. Before, during and shortly after the Iraq War of 2003, in the world beyond Baghdad, his ability to threaten had not faltered…like a bad guy in a comic strip.
Now that he’s been captured, and executed, the scene may no doubt change for the better, maybe not.
This stereotyped image of a monolithic and unfathomable tyrant, the embodiment of sheer evil, is the starting point of SADDAM. It helps to present the simplistic side of the character, but hiding behind this mask is a complex personality who stopped at nothing...even killing his own people to gain and hold on to power.
The history of Iraq teaches that dictators and their regimes don’t just pop into place. Not born a dictator, Saddam became one under special circumstances. His fate and the story of his country are deftly revealed in this film. Exploring the development of his personality, from his early days in the embryonic Iraqi Ba’ath Party to the present is the essence of the presentation. Clips from Iraqi news and propaganda films highlight the circumstance, uncovering the nature of the situation, and the Nazi-like skills used to influence the people. The Producers accessed a Saddam ‘feature film’ released in Baghdad, before the war, to highlight his terrifying stranglehold.
SADDAM opens and dissects Hussein’s incredible ability to survive for years in spite of the ruination of his own country. Elements in the film include propaganda materials, confidential and secret documents spirited out of the country, testimonies with politicians and exiled former followers and personalities from the world stage who have dealt directly with the man. The original SADDAM was produced and released in 2003, just prior to the start of the war. Then, "SADDAM, The Final Chapter" was completed in October 2004. It incorporates his capture and elements leading to his trial.
This award-winning film produced in Paris has been broadcast world-wide, but oddly it has never been seen in the United States. Much of the archival footage was secretly spirited out of Iraq before the war from television authorities that were subsequently ransacked. The film is a must for a full understanding of Saddam the man, his power, and the situation of Iraq during the balance of power years between the Soviets and Americans, both, very anxious for his attention and influence.
Screen 18' clipped from the 52' film:
This Film is licensed for Academic Library, PPV and DSL
Saddam Hussein for Library Purchase $350