Sunday, June 5th, 2016

Out Of Iraq


Grab at least two boxes of Kleenex to watch this new documentary of a heartbreaking love story between an Iraqi soldier and an Iraqi military translator that always looks like it could end badly at any moment with either of the men being killed simply for being gay.  The newsreels are full each day of so called ‘honor killings’ in the Middle East where family and neighborhoods take the law into their own hands and subject any LGBT person they can catch to a brutal barbaric killings.  Somehow though it takes on even greater significance when you realize that this is the very same fate that could befall these very charming young men whose own tale is unfolding on the screen.

In 2004 with the Iraq war at its height Ramadi was one of the most dangerous places in the world to be in.  This is where Nayyef (known as David for his own safety) was working as a Translator with the US Ground Forces, and that is where he first caught sight of Btoo a soldier with the new Iraq Army. They quickly became smitten with each other and hung out together as much as they could as close platonic friends as both of them were petrified to reveal their sexuality. That is until one night Btoo finally plucked the courage to tell Nayyef that he loved him, and then there was no turning back.

Five years later when Nayyef’s safety was in danger because of his work with the US Forces he was granted a Special Visa to go and live in the US. He accepted and moved to Seattle thinking that once he was there it would be easy to get one from Btoo too. After his first Applications were rejected and it all looked hopeless,  a friendly US Refugee Activist recommend that he desert the Army and flee to Lebanon.  It was not the safest place in the world but now that his own family had cottoned on to his relationship with Nayyar, so staying at home was far too dangerous .

This was the start of a separation that would last over four very long years and each single step of the frustrating process was fraught with both danger and disappointment.  As Btoo was illegal living in Lebanon if he was caught without papers he would be immediately deported back home where he faced certain death. What was so surprising that throughout it all the love between these utterly charming but frightened guys sustained them, and despite all odds, even blossomed.

When it is all finally resolved you will have totally run out of tissues, but the saddest part of all, is that this is just one LGBT couple that survived a harrowing ordeal with both their lives and each other, whilst their countrymen must hide their sexuality to avoid being yet another victim of murderous culture. 

“Out of Iraq” is a World of Wonder film produced by Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Eva Orner and Chris McKim; co-Directed by Academy Award-winner Eva Orner (“Taxi to the Dark Side”) and Chris McKim.

Out of Iraq will debut on Logo TV on Monday, June 13 at 9pm ET/PT.


Posted by queerguru  at  23:22

Genres:  documentary, romance

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