23rd August 2008 consists of two shots. A brief opening shot, intercut with intertitles, of the famous Al-Mutanabbi Street book market in Baghdad is followed by an unbroken eighteen-minute monologue, shot from a single, still camera position. In it, Faysal Abudullah gradually builds a portrait of his relationship with his younger brother, Kamel, and in the process evokes the lives of Iraqi intellectuals of the left, driven into exile in the early 1980s by Saddam Hussein’s regime.
Mark Lewis is a Canadian artist living in London who works with film.
Laura Mulvey is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. She made six films in collaboration with Peter Wollen and with Mark Lewis.
Faysal Abdullah lives and works as a freelance film journalist in London.
Running time: 22 minutes
Camera: Martin Testar, Fareed Sheehab
Sound: Thomas Fennell
Editor: Kathrin Kur
With: Faysal Abdullah