Voices From Exile

Maysoon Pachachi

A workshop discussion with Maysoon Pachachi

moderated by Irit Neidhardt

The political upheavals and emergencies of recent decades have led to the exile and being permanently on the move for countless people from the Arab region. In her documentary films Iraqi Maysoon Pachachi, who lives in London, tells stories of women from various countries from the region, describing their many different types of usually quiet resistance and their everyday survival strategies. The future plays just as important a role in their work as the past.
In a discussion with Irit Neidhardt, Maysoon Pachachi will introduce her works, using extracts from her documentaries. What is the significance for heavily fragmented societies of collecting these stories? To whom are the films directly addressed and for whom are they preserved? What role is played by writing history from exile?


MAYSOON PACHACHI is an Iraqi/British filmmaker. She was educated in Iraq, the USA and the UK, studied Philosophy at University College London and subsequently graduated from the London Film School. She worked for many years as a documentary and drama film editor in the UK, and has worked since 1994 as an independent documentary film director. She has written several feature scripts and is currently developing a fiction feature film about Iraq. She has also taught film directing and editing in Britain and Palestine. She is a founding member of the London-based group Act Together: Women’s Action for Iraq (www.acttogether.org). In 2004, with her colleague, Kasim Abid, she co-founded the Independent Film & TV College, a free-of-charge film-training centre in Baghdad (www.iftvc.org).

IRIT NEIDHARDT, born in 1969, runs mec film (middle eastern cinemas), a sales and distribrution company for films from the Middle East. She works as a curator for Arab film series and is the writer of numerous articles on th subject of cinema and the Middle East. She is co-producer of the multiple award-winning Jordanian documentary Recycle (2007) and the award-winning Lebanese documentary The One Man Village (2008), as well as dramatic advisor on other films from the region.


Films by Maysoon Pachachi (Selection)
Our Feelings Took the Pictures: Open Shutters Iraq 2008 | Return to the Land of Wonders 2004 | Bitter Water 2003 | Living with the Past 2001 | Iranian Journey 2000 | Iraqi Women – Voices from Exile 1994 | Voices from Gaza 1989