Alexandre Trudeau, Canadian Documentary Filmmaker

On May 27, the Canada Institute and the Conflict Prevention Project hosted a viewing of Embedded in Baghdad with Canadian documentary filmmaker Alexandre Trudeau. Trudeau spent 40 days embedded with an Iraqi family before, during, and after the fall of Baghdad in the spring of 2003. The film portrayed what life was like for the A-Saadis, a middle-class Baghdad family, and provided interviews with Iraqis about their hopes and expectations for life after the removal of Saddam Hussein. From the stockpiling of provisions before the war to the purchasing of a weapon after the war to fight off looters, the film captures what the Iraqi family experienced during the 40 days.

After viewing of the film, Trudeau answered questions from the audience. When asked how he came up with the idea for the documentary, Trudeau answered that as war preparations were portrayed on television, he felt a strong desire to be there and a curiosity to find out what was really going on in Iraq. With the help of a fellow journalist, Trudeau was able to make his way into Iraq and met the A-Saadi family.

Trudeau described himself as pessimistic regarding the future of Iraq. When asked if the mother in his film would now have more opportunity in Iraq, he responded that with the current uncertainty, Iraqi society is becoming more traditional and thus women have less opportunity. When asked what he would say to President Bush if he had five minutes with him, Trudeau responded that he was a journalist and would likely spend the five minutes trying to understand President Bush's point-of-view.

David N. Biette, Director, Canada Institute, 202-691-4133
Anita Sharma, Director, Conflict Prevention Project, 202-691-4083
Drafted by Marcia R. Seitz-Ehler, Program Associate