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83 minutes

Documentary, Sports
This slight documentary looks at the young Iraqi women who play basketball for American University in the northern city of Sulaimani, described by one school administrator as "the only safe place in all of Iraq." Though the students have all been affected by the war, director David Fine, making his feature debut, devotes too much time to the sports cliches of Ryan Bubalo, the handsome young English instructor from the U.S. who coaches the team, and too little to the political vicissitudes of postinvasion Iraq. One affecting sequence hints at the movie that might have been: after the team discusses the conservatism of a team from Karbala, its coach is shown casually slapping one of his players in the face; shocked, she reacts with a flustered smile, but moments later the camera catches her wiping her eyes. In English and subtitled Arabic and Kurdish.

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