Meeting Resistance is not the end-all, be-all of Iraq War documentaries, nor does it pretend to be. Filmmakers Steve Connors and Molly Bingham stay tightly focused on their subjects -- members of the resistance movement in Iraq -- and get them to open up about their motivations. In doing so, they provide an invaluable window into a world that remains unknown to most foreigners.

The filmmakers don't put literal faces to the resistance; the interviewees are presented out of focus or otherwise hidden. Their words create indelible images, though. Identified by descriptors such as "The Teacher," "The Warrior" and "The Traveler," they spin tales of furious vengeance and quiet resolve, dogged determination and fierce betrayal. It's not easy to keep track of these elusive figures; while their anonymity is understandable, it's difficult to keep each one's background and perspective straight without notes. Yet they appear to be a representative cross-section, coming to the movement from a variety of backgrounds and ages. They don't all agree as to the most effective methods of resistance, but they share a fervent desire to repel what they view as the occupation of their country.

The documentary begins shortly after the war itself began. Connors and Bingham were in Iraq at the time, working as freelance photographers. They heard about resistance fighters and decided to investigate. Their investigation led them to the Adhamiya neighborhood of Baghdad, and they started talking to people. The interview subjects speak at length about their personal experiences, religious beliefs and political orientations. As they talk, a compelling portrait emerges of a nation under siege.
categories Reviews, Cinematical