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Rebel in pak

Short documentary, 2009, 56 min.

Proudly, Siamand Banaa shows a picture: as a young Kurdish refugee, he takes part in a demonstration at the gates of the Iraqi embassy in The Hague in October 1976. The photograph is now on the wall of his office in the same embassy, where Banaa is currently holding sway as the Iraqi ambassador. When the former rebel receives a delegation of Iraqi supreme judges - some of his former enemies among them - he only orders them to dress smart. 'Consider me an uncle', he tells them, and this is how he behaves towards filmmaker Anneloor van Heemstra. Her family received Banaa when he first came to the Netherlands. The result is an unusually candid fly-on-the-wall document, shot in the build-up to the American elections of 2008. The observing film shows a dignitary from a country without a flag or anthem. The old rebel has not disappeared yet, but he is hedged in by a diplomatic system of receptions and courtesy calls.





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