DIJLA WAL. FURAT: BETWEEN THE TIGRIS AND THE EUPHRATES
MAURICE DECAUL (US Marine Corps Veteran )
ALEX MALLORY, Part of POETIC LICENSE 2015; subconscious
AT THE WILD PROJECT: 195 E.3rd Street.
The play takes place in 2003: before, during and after the fall of Baghdad. (Statue of Saddam Hussein also falls with the great sound effects of thousands of people rejoicing ) One would wish to believe that the country, Iraq and its people and the soldiers by now will also rejoice because the job is accomplished and the victory achieved and a celebration due.
But wait, there are terrible and tragic surprises awaiting the people involved. There are four US Marines, four Iraqis and one reporter (French ) representing the thousands upon thousands of soldiers and Iraqis and the horrendous consequences as a result of this illegal
war, (started on the false assumption of the presence of weapons of mass destruction ) which were never there but the towns and cities and its inhabitants all turned into death camps, ghosts, burning bodies and un-imaginable destruction.
On a sand colored empty stage the Marines and Iraqis struggle and fight for their lives.
Their trauma and emotional devastation is absolutely hard to watch. In the very beginning of the play an errant mortar round kills a child, (A girl named Amina ) and his father begs her burial but the Marines don't allow it. They themselves are stricken with fear of some ominous tragedy befalling them.
Its just the beginning and the phantoms will haunt the living and the dead for the rest of times to come.
Then Baghdad burns and the loss of life, the soldiers deaths and their emotional devastation and the destruction of a country will have wounds so deep and trauma so heavy and the price every one will pay, so tremendous.
The brilliance of the author, Maurice Decaul is that he has made all his characters human and we feel their pain, loss and humanity throughout. We never hate the Marines for being the enemy because
their loss is also as huge as the Iraqis and it is even more Ironic and sad to watch because they want to go home to their families and their wives and to a normal life but still we feel so much more for the innocent iraqis and their tragedy brought upon them by a foreign power under a false premise.
Most of the acting is excellent and many scenes are very moving but the scenes between Labib and Marid played by, (Ankur Rathee and Fahim Hamid ) are totally hunting, living and the ghost of the dead never leaving each other alone.
And in another scene when Ortega, (Nabil Vinas ) is saved by his comrade Ali who gets killed himself and Ortega gets badly injured, (his wife back home waiting to deliver his baby ) is also extremely moving and painful to watch.
The production is brilliantly directed by Alex Mallory.
The sound design by Jaime A Diaz is astounding. The lighting design by Derek Miller is also very effective.
This kind of a war play is very hard to stage and realize with such a small cast but every one involved has done a great job and the play is very moving and evokes many feelings.
A very Important play for every one to see.