The First Movie (2009)

Feature Documentary | UK/Canada | English & Kurdish | 1h16m
Dir: Mark Cousins | Scr: Mark Cousins | Ph: Mark Cousins | Prod: Trish Dolman & Gill Parry | Mus: Melissa Hui | Ed: Timo Langer | Snd: Miguel Nunes | Narrator: Mark Cousins

Mark Cousins travels to a remote Kurdish village in northern Iraq, and finds magic, wonder, and beauty in its people and landscape (as well as the inevitable pain and suffering that one would associate with the tragic history of the area). After introducing its children to the wonders of cinema with works by Astrid Henning-Jensen, Francesco Stefani, Mohammad-Ali Talebi, and Steven Spielberg, he also introduces them to the wonders of film-making itself, giving a number of them tiny digital cameras with which to record their own small corners of the world. Inevitably, the results are decidedly mixed, though fascinatingly so. However, it is Cousins’s film-making itself – gentle, sensuous, and poetic – that really awakens the senses. Filled with beauty, possibility, adventure, and hope, it is a joy to view the world through his eyes for an hour and a quarter. Lovely.