I nearly walked out of the screening for The Blood of My Brother a few times. It wasn't the sheep slaughtering or the war violence or even the shots of burned and crippled Iraqis. I don't have a weak stomach. What I have is a weak understanding of what is going on in Iraq, and this documentary did little to help me figure things out. It gave me the same feeling of inferiority that Syrianagave so many us. But The Blood of My Brother is not convoluted, it just isn't clear enough for the uninformed.

The part that is easy to comprehend is a story about the death of Ra'ad, the eldest son of a widowed Shi'ite family, who was killed by U.S. troops while standing guard at a mosque. The effects of his death at first seem unlike anything you'd expect from an American family in mourning, but at the same time, they are not altogether so different. Ra'ad's younger brother Ibrahim, now head of the household, wants revenge. Their mother rams her head into Ra'ad's tombstone like she's gone off the edge. Rather than letting the event take them over, though, Ibrahim and his mother take responsibility to provide for their family.