The Minders (1998)
The sense of resignation that pervades Iraqi society could not be better summarized [Martin Kramer, Middle East Quarterly]
“This extraordinary film was made by Sean McAllister during the last Iraqi crisis (the one defused by the UN’s Kofi Annan in person *February 1998). With air strikes averted, McAllister decided to carry on filming, making a double portrait of his two Ministry of Information minders, Kifah and Alla.
The likeable and decent Kifah, a former English teacher enjoying a rare spell of paid work, is a football mad Anglophile: ‘I can’t forget Bobby Moore,’ he sighs. Alla, Head of Protocol, is a suave ladies’ man and pop fan (very taken with Chumbawumba).
McAllister carries on filming Kifah after he is dropped as a minder and in doing so creates an illuminating and touching picture of the man and of everyday life in Iraq.”
© Nigel Andrew, The Daily Mail
“Kifah is a more persuasive representative of loss than the children supposedly irradiated by depleted uranium. He has spent the last decade, he says, “simply struggling to stay alive.” He built no house, bought no car, married no woman, traveled nowhere. “This is my kingdom,” he reflects, surveying his bare bedroom. People like Kifah-educated, eager for contact with the world, political outsiders-were supposed to put a brake on Saddam. Instead, the sanctions left them completely absorbed with daily survival. “Are you proud of your country?” McAllister asks. Kifah hesitates, “Should I be?” And then, “I think it’s my duty.” The sense of resignation that pervades Iraqi society could not be better summarized.” – © Martin Kramer, Middle East Quarterly
See a selection of reviews for The Minders
The Minders. BBC (1998)
Broadcast Premiere – UK, BBC2, Modern Times, November 15, 1998. Director Sean McAllister, Editor Ollie Huddleston, Photography Sean McAllister, Sound Sean McAllister, Producer Ben Barker, Production Company Tenfoot Films.
Awards and Nominations
Nominated for a Royal Television Society Award 1998