The main part of Hiner Saleem’s Kilomètre Zéro, premiered in competition for the Palme D’Or, is set in 1988 against the backdrop of the deaths of thousands of Iraqi Kurds at the hands of Saddam’s cousin, “Chemical” Ali Hassan al-Majid.
It is framed by scenes of the main characters, now exiled in France, rejoicing at the fall of Baghdad in 2003.
Of course the Guardian have to give this Kurdish film a comedy introduction and headline. It cannot possibly be presented simply as a work from people who have suffered under oppression and celebrated their liberation. Instead the Guardian’s Charlotte Higgins leads the story like this:
George Bush and Tony Blair will whoop for joy. A strongly pro-war film has been premiered at the Cannes film festival – and it comes from Iraq.
It always has to be about Bush and Blair doesn’t it? Always has to be about our politics even when it is so patently about their lives.