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By Rachel Morgan | November 23, 2004

“South Baghdad” is a short animated film inspired by the true story of a 12 year-old boy named Ali who lost his arms in an American air attack during the invasion of Iraq. Ali’s entire family was killed in the assault, leaving him an orphan. The animated short is comprised of 4 basic sections: a portrayal of George Bush justifying the invasion of Iraq, a brief spoof on the American media coverage of the war, a depiction of the attack that devastated Ali and his family, and finally, contrived images of Bush in his flight suit, visiting Ali to deliver the “Iraq Rap”.

Judging by the results of the recent election, the animated short will certainly offend many people. Despite where one stands on the issue, several elements of the film are in poor taste, but that’s not to say that a good bit of it isn’t funny and/or poignant. Director William Ross is successful, at the least, in reminding his audience of the horrific casualties suffered by Iraqi citizens, a fact often glazed over, especially by the U.S. Commander in Chief.

Despite it’s amateurish, often abhorrent approach and downright silly delivery, “South Baghdad” is a great example of a productive form of _expression, one which I’m sure helped Ross deal with his feelings regarding the unfortunate situation the nation is facing. The short also stands as a reminder of the losses that both the U.S. and its current “enemy” have suffered.

“South Baghdad” has been chosen as an official selection at over a dozen film festivals including the San Antonio Underground Film Festival and the Portland Indy Animation Festival.

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