Film available for screening through April 30, 2023
Nine Parts – PBS Broadcast
A film by Mike Mosallam, Heather Raffo and Nilou Safinya
Uprooted after her father’s death during the pandemic, an Iraqi American woman attempts to grieve at the site of the oldest Iraqi Church in North America. What starts in profound isolation, becomes communal as Iraqi women, ordinary and extraordinary, come to her in spirit and ancestry with their personal stories of love and resilience. Together, they offer a celebration of the Iraqi female experience and an explicit warning – the divisions Iraq endured are not unique, Iraq is a bellwether for America now.
Nearly 20 years ago, 9 Parts of Desire premiered to widespread acclaim on London stages and Off-Broadway, later becoming a global theatrical phenomenon. Now, Heather Raffo adapts her multi-award-winning solo play about Iraqi women for the screen and for our current time. From Iraq to Michigan, Raffo transforms into a wide cross-section of Iraqi women in her inspiring exploration of love and grief within countries undone by division, violence and loss.
Heather Raffo is a singular and outstanding voice in the American theater whose work has been championed by the New Yorker as “an example of how art can remake the world.” Having helped forge a new genre of Arab American theater, she’s spent her career writing and embodying stories of Iraq: from the lives and dreams of Iraqi women in her seminal work 9 Parts of Desire (2003), to the suicidal ideation of an Iraq war veteran in the opera Fallujah (2012), to the restless longings of an Iraqi refugee architect in Noura (2018). A multi award-winning writer and actor, she’s toured nationally and internationally: from the Kennedy Center to The Aspen Ideas Festival and from London’s House of Commons to the U.S. Islamic World Forum. Her newly released anthology, Heather Raffo’s Iraq Plays: The Things That Can’t Be Said, brings together two decades of her most groundbreaking contributions to the American theater and speaks to the bravery required to be at the forefront of a movement. Her newest Migration Play Cycle, her most ambitious theatrical imagining in scale and scope, situates themes around migration and the global economy. Being raised in the Midwest and the daughter of an Iraqi immigrant, Raffo has committed her artistic practice to working across all kinds of borders: on mainstages and in rural communities; with the military and in the Arab world; in swing states and in refugee facilities. She is uniquely positioned to explore what migration means for an ever-evolving American and global identity. Photo credit for headshot is: Satya Tisman Photography
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