The 10 Best Documentaries About Iraq

Aug 20, 2023 | Best Of, People

As the world’s attention shifts to the Middle East, more and more filmmakers are turning their lenses towards Iraq. From the horrors of war to the beauty of a land that has been ravaged by conflict, these documentaries about Iraq offer an unparalleled look into one of the most tumultuous regions in history.


1. Losing Iraq

In the 2004 documentary “Losing Iraq”, viewers have the chance to explore an incredible archive of broadcast journalism and delve into the stories behind some of the key moments in the Iraq war. From interviews with policymakers and military leaders to footage of Saddam Hussein’s statue being toppled, this documentary provides a powerful exploration into America’s role in 2003 invasion.


2. Once Upon a Time in Iraq

For the first time ever, Iraqis from all walks of life share their stories in an unprecedented documentary special, “Once Upon a Time in Iraq”. Through their vivid memories and personal experiences, we gain an understanding of life under Saddam Hussein, as well as the U.S.-led invasion that followed.


3. Beyond Baghdad

Delve deep into Iraq’s complex culture and tumultuous history with “Beyond Baghdad”. This five-week journey across the country, led by veteran investigative team Martin Smith, Marcela Gaviria and Scott Anger, allows viewers to explore the social and political reality beyond the confines of Baghdad.


4. The Revolutionary Turned Butcher

Saddam Hussein, the man deemed more sadistic than Hitler, had an iron grip on Iraq for over two decades. This documentary takes a look into his transformation from a brutal street thug to one of the most notorious dictators in Middle Eastern history. It covers how his extreme pleasure derived from limitless cruelty played a part in this journey.


5. Iraq and Syria: After Islamic State?

Since the Battle of Mosul in 2014, much has changed in Iraq. In many ways, the country is left with a devastating aftermath. BBC Correspondent Feras Kilani returns to survey the damage and ask if this marks an end for extreme jihadism in Iraq and Syria.


6. Returning From the Iraq War With PTSD

Gripping stories of war, survival, and the psychological toll soldiers experience after returning home. The documentary “The Soldier’s Heart” is a deep look into the emotional scars that come with being in combat. It follows veterans as they attempt to reintegrate into society while struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


7. Iran and Saudi Arabia

From the shadows of the Tehran skyline to the refugee camps of Syria, this documentary explores how a 40-year rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia has triggered sectarian violence in the Middle East. Martin Smith, FRONTLINE correspondent examines seven countries across the region – from Iraq and Yemen to Syria and Iran – to uncover what lies behind this power struggle.


8. I Don’t Know How to Explain the War to Myself

The invasion of Iraq by the United States in 2003 left a deep impression on all who witnessed it, none more so than the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment – affectionately known as the Gunners.


9. Full Documentary: Assignment: Iraq

From the rubble of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to the chaos of modern-day Baghdad and beyond, Assignment: Iraq is one of the most comprehensive documentaries ever produced about this war-torn country. This powerful film provides an inside look at day-to-day life in a place where violence, destruction, and death are a part of everyday life.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B