Movie Short: To Rest in Peace

To Rest in Peace, which I saw during a film festival and recently watched again, is a poetic short motion picture about Iraqi-occupied Kuwait in 1990. With an evocative score by Leah Curtis and flawless photography by Sean Conaty, the movie, shot on location in Kuwait and southern California, concerns a Kuwaiti husband and father named Malek (Michael Benyaer) who must choose whether to defy the new government in dealing with two corpses left in the street as an example to freethinkers and would-be resistance fighters. Malek’s tale unfolds in simple expressions and images, as he thinks about what to do, how his actions might affect his family, and as he considers the cost of doing nothing. The University of Southern California thesis film, based on a true story and created, written and directed by Fawaz Al-Matrouk (فواز المتروك), who experienced and survived the Iraqi invasion, is playing the film festival circuit, winning numerous awards, and making its British premiere tomorrow at the Crystal Palace International Film Festival in London. To Rest in Peace, which also plays in Huntington Beach, California, at a film festival this week, leaves an impression about what it means to submit to oppression. Watch the trailer here.

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