JULY 10 - JULY 13, 2024

Review | Pomegranate

Movie – Pomegranate

Director – Weam Namou

 

 

A film that has a social message – Weam Namou brings Chaldean and Muslim Communities Together

 

The constant tension between the Muslim and Cjalden communities in Michigan was the driving force that made the film-maker create this masterpiece to bridge the gap between these two communities. Weam Namou is an Iraqi American filmmaker. In this movie, you will find a liberal muslim refugee Niran moving into a conservative catholic neighborhood. The movie shows her struggles at every step of the way as she tries to preserve her Muslim traditions.

Pomegranate is an Iraqi American film based on a novel written by Weam Namou. It’s considered as the first Iraqi female-led, American, independent feature movie. The director Weam was born in Baghdad and raised in Detroit after her parents came to the U.S. in 1981. The Chaldeans are Iraqi Catholics and Michigan has the largest population of Chaldeans. The director of the movie brought to life the tensions that she saw between the conservative Chaldeans and the liberal Muslims. The movie shows that it’s quite easy to get involved in all these noises as there are constant arguments and debates. This movie is a reality and an actual portrayal of what was witnessed by the Director during her growing-up years. 

While many believe that there are no such tensions between the two communities, the real picture is far from the truth. The real conflict was generated from the fact that the Chaldeans in Iraq were a minority and had been subjected to years of persecution so whenever there are any flare-ups in Detroit it’s because of the policies followed in Iraq or the discussion about building a mosque in Sterling Heights which is a Chaldean majority neighborhood.

A majority of the people in the Chaldean community wrongly blame the local Muslims for the bloodshed that happens back home. The Chaldeans arrived in America in the past few decades and they believe that whatever happened to them in Iraq, the Muslim community is to be blamed and every Muslim needs to be held responsible. This is one of the real reasons why Niran and her family had to struggle so much while settling down in the Chaldean-dominated community. 

Even if you find a mosque in Sterling Heights, it’s important to remember that it was not a piece of cake. There was a lot of resistance from the people in the Chaldean community as they had not forgiven what happened to them in Iraq.

However, this movie is a turning point. The director comes from the Chaldean community and is one of the voices that calls for reconciliation, communication and cooperation between these different sets of people. Namou is the author of the novel ‘Pomegranate’ and also the director of the movie. She is Chaldean and being born in Baghdad, her family has also been victims of the atrocities in Iraq. Her movie is a story about two neighbors living across the street who are at loggerheads with one another. However, the bigger picture is that this long history of division and the gap between the two communities needs to be bridged. Her movie aims to voice her perspective to let go of the differences and embrace today for a better future together. This movie is an opportunity for people of both communities to come together to understand and be familiar with one another’s emotions, backgrounds and intentions to avoid further disagreements.

Pomegranate is an independent film and the wonderful cast with exceptional acting capabilities brings things to life. The storyline looks authentic and the emotions are real and raw. Most of all this movie is a stepping stone for understanding, education and reconciliation for both communities. The best part is that in this movie no one is portrayed as a victim, but ordinary people lead a simple life with extraordinary inner strength and perseverance. 

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