Critical Response

“James Longley’s mesmerizing Iraq in Fragments shakes off the oversaturated video vocabulary that has defined media coverage of the war-torn country and brings a cinematic beauty, both terrifying and ethereal”
— Stephen Garret, Indiewire

“The first documentary about the war in Iraq to be made by a real filmmaker…Longley has a gift for intimacy and an eye for vagrant touches of beauty everywhere”
— The New Yorker 

“Iraq in Fragments is astonishing, both in its beauty and its breadth. While Longley’s use of jump-cuts and visual collages has the feel of an art piece, it is the director’s contact with his subjects that is truly astounding.”
— Dan Glaister, The Guardian

Iraq in Fragments is a stunningly beautiful film … What this movie shows, you will never see on the evening news”
— Michael Moore

“Not just another Iraq war doc…Whether or not James Longley’s boldly stylized reportage breaches public indifference, its enduring value is assured: When the war is long gone, this deft construction will persist in relevance, if not for what it says about the mess we once made, then as a model of canny cinematic construction.”
— Nathan Lee, The Village Voice

“The movie is more than the sum of its fragments. The montages are intense, the images ravishing. The movie is tactile. When you finally feel this place, you understand just how little you understand.”
— David Edelstein, New York Magazine 

“an Iraq that you haven’t likely seen before … stunning”
Iraq in Fragments is an in-depth marvel”
— New York Magazine

“[Iraq In Fragments is] an invitation to look again and afresh at a country many Americans may be tired of thinking about, and to be reminded of the complicated human reality underneath the politics.”
— New York Times 

“a masterpiece …”
— Noel Murray, The Onion 

“Differs dramatically from the documentaries about the occupation told from the American point of view…Not only does Longley capture the literal point of view, he also bathes many of his shots in a dark, golden light that mirrors the shadowy threat posed by the country’s violent, unsettled state.”
— Eric Monder, Film Journal 

“a visually startling, patiently observed and deeply humanist film”
“the most lacerating and complex American doc so far about the war Over There.”
— Eye Weekly

“beautifully shot, well-edited and gives you a picture of Iraq that you’ve never seen before.”
— John Powers, Fresh Air

“It only takes a few minutes of watching Iraq in Fragments to recognize that the film stands apart from the Iraqumentary pack: dazzling cinematography in place of the dull visuals of the evening news, slice-of-life narration instead of talking heads. Divided into three sections, director James Longley’s reportage shows us the everyday chaos in Baghdad and beyond with dramatic vividness — a vividness that, if nothing else, makes us realize how degraded most of the imagery we receive from Iraq is at the moment.”
— Max Goldberg, San Francisco Bay Guardian 

Clippings: Full Reviews and Interviews

The American Prospect Berkeley Daily Planet The Chicago Tribune
The Financial Times Entertainment Weekly Film Threat
The Independent Interpress Service The BBC (mp3)
The Los Angeles Times The LA Weekly Leonard Lopate Show (mp3)
The New Republic Newsday New York Magazine
The New York Sun The New York Times Salon