Balloons over Babylon

Balloons over Babylon

YEAR 2013-2018
TRAVELS TO Iraq, the Netherlands and Sweden
MEDIA Documentary film, 58 min
ASSIGNED BY FRP, Folke Rydén Production for SVT, NRK, BBC


A film about one man's unlikely struggle to transform his native war torn Iraq by changing the world’s image of it. At any cost.

When Murtada Younis returned to Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, he could see the historical Iraqi in ruins just as bombs had destroyed the houses in his neighborhood. This was not the country he left years ago. Still he was filled with energy and optimism, determined to transform his native homeland. 

Murtada Younis vision is to change the global image of his native country, Iraq. He wants to show the surrounding world a peaceful, beautiful and welcoming paradise. But at the same time a new rebel uprising is beleaguering the war-torn country and far from everyone shares his vision; "One day you will find me shot for what I’m doing."

Swedish Television describes the film like this:
"It gives a counterweight both in terms of the image of Muslim men like IS terrorists, and of Iraq as a war-torn country. The film gives hope and is a completely different image of both the country and the citizens. Showing that Iraq actually is the cradle of our civilization (Euphrates and Tigris) and has a unique history. The main character Murtada is a wonderful devotee and enthusiast, and his relationship with both his wife and son is fantastic, and feels both equal and fine in every way - it is also a counterweight to the generalizing image of Muslims."