Oscars: Iraq Selects 'The Journey' for Foreign-Language Category

THE JOURNEY Still 1- AL RAHAL -Tiff Publicity-H 2017
Courtesy of TIFF

The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last year.

Iraq has selected Al Rahal (The Journey), directed by Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji, as its official contender for the Oscars in the foreign-language film category.

The film follows a young woman suicide bomber who stalks the Baghdad train station.

"The story of a girl suicide bomber who roams Baghdad Central Station with glassy eyes is part will-she-or-won’t-she thriller and part parade of symbolic characters who represent the country’s wounded population," Deborah Young wrote in The Hollywood Reporter's review.

The Journey is Al-Daradji's fourth feature. The director's best-known film on the international festival circuit is his 2009's Syn Babilonu (Son of Babylon).

The Journey had its world premiere last year in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film opened March 1 in Iraq to become the first homemade picture in 27 years to be released theatrically in the country.

The Journey is Iraq's ninth foreign-language Oscar submission since 2005. An Iraqi film has yet to earn a nomination.