Iraq’s holy cities have left their mark on history. Shiite Islam was born in these cities, painfully, a 13-century process of suffering that is continuing today. The Shiites maintain the martyr’s cult. Under Saddam Hussein’s reign the Shiites were persecuted. With his regime’s downfall, the faithful have regained their freedom, and the clergy its full power. This is a voyage to the heart of these holy cities: Karbala, the embodiment of the 1991 repression; Najaf, the holy of holies, the Shiites’ Mecca with its university and its powerful religious council; Baghdad and Samarra. Iraq’s future is being played out in the mosques.
A 2003 documentary directed by Franck Berruyer