Plot & Details
Mark Cousins is a filmmaker who believes in the power of the cinema to change lives. Growing up in Ireland during a time when violence between Catholic and Protestant factions was common, Cousins knows the impact growing up in a chaotic time and place can have on youngsters, and he's set out to do something about it. Cousins has taken an interest in the children of Iraq, seeing a parallel between their circumstances and his own youth, and has made it his mission to use movies as a means of healing. First he created a traveling outdoor movie theater where youngsters could see classic children's films from around the world, from The Red Balloon to E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, all free of charge. Then after acquainting them with the basics of cinema, he gave a number of children Flip digital cameras and encouraged them to make short films of their own. The First Movie is a documentary in which Cousins offers a look at his work in Iraq, as well as the short films the children made, allowing us to see a land we only know as a war zone through their eyes. The First Movie was an official selection at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival.