Former British soldier Adnan Sarwar is heading back to Iraq fifteen years after the start of the Iraq war for a two-hour documentary for BBC Two. The broadcaster has commissioned UK and U.S. producer October Films to make Return To Iraq (w/t).
Sarwar will explore how the country has changed since he served in the army as a 24-year old. He will discuss how his life changed following an ambush after seeing how driving Saddam Hussein from power led to more violence in the country and the creation of ISIS. He travels across the snowy peaks and arid deserts, venturing through hilltop villages, ISIS tunnels and magnificent gorges, walks with mine clearing teams in Mosul and joins wildlife conservationists releasing bears near one of Saddam Hussein’s old palaces. He will also meet pop stars all-female fighting units, archaeologists, oil-workers, LGBT activists and ordinary Iraqis from all walks of life.
Sarwar, who previously presented October’s BBC Two doc Dangerous Borders, will present Return To Iraq, which is exec produced by Monica Garnsey and Denman Rooke and series produced and directed by Jamie Berry. Commissioned by the BBC’s Gian Quaglieni, it will be distributed internationally by Mip TV by Drive.
Rooke said, “Adnan is the perfect guide to Iraq for this series. He brings a former soldier’s insight and understanding of why – for some – fighting is a way of life, alongside his unique brand of warmth, curiosity and razor-sharp journalistic intelligence, which allow him to engage with and understand the lives of Iraqis as they look to the future.”