‘Immortals’ Review: Young Iraqi Activitst

by Barbara

Revolutions ignite hope for a brighter future and foster community resilience. Immortals,” a documentary spotlighting young Iraqi activists, delves into the aftermath of the 2019 October Protest Movement. What unfolds when the promise of a better life is thwarted by political machinations? Maja Tschumi’s film offers a poignant exploration of Iraq’s social and political landscape, revealing the silent desperation of dashed hopes and the simmering emotions unable to find expression. It also portrays a generation sharing their dreams and frustrations with fellow oppressed individuals worldwide.

While “Immortals” authentically captures Iraq’s specificity, language, and culture, the aspirations of its activists resonate with those in Sudan or Iran, reflecting the global youth demand for change. The documentary follows Milo, a feminist navigating a family ensnared in strict constraints, and Khalili, a filmmaker whose passion lies in documenting the revolution. They aren’t just subjects but collaborators with Tschumi, co-authoring the script based on their lived experiences.


Milo and Khalili serve as witnesses and archivists, imbuing the film with more than factual retellings. They lay bare their pain and despair alongside their hopeful visions for a brighter tomorrow. Through collaborative efforts, the trio seamlessly intertwines past events from Milo and Khalili’s lives, offering context to current proceedings. The blend of reality and reenactment blurs the lines, captivating viewers without a discernible disconnect.


Khalili’s camera captures “Immortals” most visceral visuals, depicting the chaos of Baghdad’s streets and the fervor of revolutionaries seeking change. Amidst flying bullets and tear gas, moments of joy and optimism among demonstrators also come to life. Khalili’s post-revolution testimonials provide haunting commentary, underscoring the urgency of sharing his story.


Milo, with her expressive countenance, conveys a myriad of emotions as she recounts her experiences. Her pride in navigating restrictive gender norms, skepticism of the situation, and distress as a feminist rallying for change are palpable. Tschumi and cinematographer Silvio Gerber capture Milo’s conviction with unwavering focus, highlighting her passion and resilience.

The film also delves into the tender bonds between these young activists, particularly in Milo’s interactions with a close friend. Amidst danger and frustration, they find solace in each other’s company, offering a glimpse into their intimate conversations rarely seen by outsiders.

As “Immortals” unfolds, viewers ponder Milo’s struggle to reconcile her love for her country and friends with her yearning for a different life elsewhere. Tschumi refrains from offering definitive answers, opting for a quiet, meditative exploration of post-revolution ennui. Milo and Khalili emerge as active storytellers, steering their narrative amidst larger-than-life circumstances. Through their stories, the film connects their struggles and unwavering conviction to a global generation of activists.

While the Iraqi revolution may not have achieved its goals, “Immortals” exudes optimism, symbolizing the resilience of young activists like Milo and Khalili. As long as they persevere, hope remains alive for a brighter tomorrow.


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