What are always fascinating to watch are the stories of those who remain. No disrespect to fleeing refugees the world over, but remaining in a country like Iraq, torn apart by a proxy war and since overrun with violence and economic failures takes real courage. And it's an act of rebuilding in itself.
French photographer and documentarian Charles Thiefaine has made a film about one such courageous individual and his family. Hassouni is the youngest driver and drifter in Baghdad. Drifting, according to Wikipedia "is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner." It's perilous, risky and requires great technique. At one point Hassouni himself mentions that a great car won't make a great driver. It is dedication and practice that make a winner and without those a wonder vehicle will be just a waste of time and money.
"Mechanics, car races, and freestyle, these images underline the common passion of young boys who are passionate about cars. They tell the story of how a group of friends who grew up in a country plagued by years of violence manage to escape boredom and live a happy life."
The resulting film is a short masterpiece, the kind of work we are now used to watching on the LVMH-owned video site NOWNESS. Setting their gaze to the world at large and working strictly with video images, the website has quickly become a favourite of ours.
Watch the full video here and do listen to the Iraqi music track that accompanies the short film, Khala W Al Hanfousha Sajeda Obaid by Shakshaka.