In My Mother's Arms

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A realistic story that uses a universal language
The film documents daily life in the orphanage over the course of nine months
The orphans represent a fragment of the Iraqi mosaic of race, culture, religion, and class
The film resulted in a campaign to collect donations to buy a piece of land for the orphanage
The film received grants from the Abu Dhabi Film Festival’s SANAD Film Fund, Al Jazeera English, San Sebastian Cinema in Motion, Goteborg Film Festival Fund, and the Netherlands Film Fund
In My Mother's Arms Poster
2011/ Iraq - UK - Netherlands - UAE89 min/ Documentary, Drama
Original Title
Fi Ahdan Ummi
In 2009, Husham established an orphanage in Baghdad’s Alsadr district. When Husham and his entourage are threatened with eviction due to a rent increase, the surviving orphans put on a show to express their yearning for a mother’s unconditional love.
Saif Silah Husham
Mohamed Wael
Naeem Al-Ghezzi
Husham La Dhabe


Screenwriter: Atea Al-Daradji, Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji
DOP: Atea Al-Daradji, Amar Manaa, Osama Rasheed, Zahir Kareem, Muthar Anaam
Editor: Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji, Ian Watson

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Production Company(ies)
Human Film
Iraq Al-Rafidain

Isabelle Stead

film festivals
Films from the South Festival in Oslo, Norway
Sofia MENAR Film Festival, Bulgaria
Babylon Festival for International Cultures & Arts, Iraq
Toronto International Film Festival, Canada
Seville Film Festival, Spain
Abu Dhabi Film Festival, UAE
Göteborg Film Festival, Sweden
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Netherlands
Copenhagen International Documentary Festival, Denmark
New Zealand International Film Festival, New Zealand
Movies that Matter Festival, Netherlands
Gulf Film Festival, UAE
San Francisco International Film Festival, US
Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Australia
EBS International Documentary Festival, South Korea
film awards
Best Documentary Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards
Edu Choice Grand Prix at the EBS International Documentary Festival
“The film provides a vividly desolate portrait of a society too fractured and corrupt to properly care for its most helpless among them.”
Frank Scheck — The Hollywood Reporter

“It’s not easy to write about IN MY MOTHER’S ARMS — an intensely direct, simple, and affecting documentary — without sounding like I’m a bleeding heart.”
Alex Peterson — Tiny Mix Tapes