Our River…Our Sky

Set in 2006 against the backdrop of intense sectarian war, Our River…Our Sky follows the stories of a small Baghdad community trying to find some semblance of normality and hope despite unpredictable violence, turmoil, and loss.


“Pure poetry….an exquisite and profoundly moving portrait of the devastation enacted upon an entire people.”
Leila Latif, TOTAL FILM

“A stunning humanisation of a conflict we are all too familiar with.”

Click here to find where you can see Our River…Our Sky in cinemas


Winner of the 2022 British Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Performance.

Set in 2006 against the backdrop of intense sectarian war, Our River… Our Sky follows the stories of a small Baghdad community trying to find some semblance of normality and hope despite unpredictable violence, turmoil, and loss.

Sara is a single mother and a novelist. As her daughter Reema sleeps fitfully against the not-so-distant noise of mortars and gunfire, she’s unable to write. Surrounded by trauma and devastation, she scours the internet for news of the city’s death toll, trying to keep track of the attacks. When her closest friend and neighbour, Sabiha, a former actress and a Christian, is forced into exile, Sara begins to fight back and recover a sense of defiance. But as the random killing escalates and gets closer to home, she begins to look for a way out for herself and her daughter…

Sara and Reema’s story is woven with that of their neighbours. These include Kamal, a former prisoner-of-war who is trying to erase the past; his pregnant wife Mona, who can’t forget her lost children from a previous marriage; her mother Nermeen, whose son was ‘disappeared’ by the regime; and the grieving Haider, a teenager slowly falling into bad company.

Sara and her neighbours invite us into their everyday lives as their world fragments and they attempt to renew a fragile sense of hope for a better future. Through the chaos and destruction, the residents never let their ambitions and desires for the future fade. Yet, they can’t help but contemplate leaving Iraq, and are forced to ask a painful question – who does Baghdad really belong to?

Dedicated to the youth of Iraq, Maysoon Pachachi’s film offers a glance at the realities of ordinary life in Baghdad, a stark contrast to past Western media portrayals of the 2003 US-led invasion and its catastrophic aftermath. A raw and powerful display of humanity, Pachachi’s film explores identity and nationalism, and what it means to belong.


Released with the support of the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery

Released in the UK from Friday 20th October 2023

  • Director: Maysoon Pachachi
  • Country: UK/France/Germany/Kuwait/UAE/Qatar
  • Year: 2021
  • Duration: 117 minutes
  • Genre: Drama
  • Language: Arabic with English subtitles.
  • Production company: Oxymoron Films
  • Cert: 12A

Official website


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Richmond Film Society  | Tuesday 7th May



ICA, London  |  Wednesday 19th June (+ Director Q&A)



Louth Film Club  |  Monday 29th July



Garden Cinema, London  | PREVIEW: Monday 20th March
Plymouth Arts Cinema  |  PREVIEW: Wednesday 18th October
Garden Cinema, London  | From Friday 20th October (+ Director Q&A Monday 23rd October)
HOME, Manchester  |  From Friday 20th October (+ Director Q&A Wednesday 25th October)
Showroom, Sheffield  | From Friday 20th October (+ Director Q&A Thursday 26th October)
Glasgow Film Theatre  |  From Friday 20th October
DCA, Dundee  | From Friday 20th October
Riverside Studios, London  |  From Friday 27th October (+ recorded Director Q&A)
Lexi Cinema, London  |  From Friday 27th October (+ Director Q&A Sunday 29th October, 3pm)
Plymouth Arts Cinema  |  From Friday 27th October (+ Director Q&A Thursday 2nd November, 8pm)
Rich Mix, London  |  Monday 30th October (+ Director Q&A)
South Hill Park, Bracknell  |  Tuesday 31st October & Wednesday 1st November
Lonsdale Alhambra Cinema, Penrith  |  Wednesday 1st November
Phoenix, Leicester  |  Friday 3rd – Thursday 9th November
Dorchester Film Society  |  Wednesday 8th November
The Light Cinemas, Bolton  |  From Thursday 9th November
The Ultimate Picture Palace, Oxford  |  From Friday 10th November
The Dukes, Lancaster  |  Saturday 18th & Wednesday 22nd November
MAC, Birmingham  |  Saturday 18th November (+ Director Q&A)
Buxton Film, Buxton  |  Monday 20th November
Kinokulture, Oswestry  |  Thursday 23rd November
Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne  |  From Friday 24th November (+ Director Q&A Tuesday 28th November, 6pm)
Forum Cinema, Hexham  |  Monday 27th – Thursday 30th November
Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre, Dumfries  |  Monday 27th November
Strode Theatre, Street  |  Wednesday 6th December
Aldeburgh Cinema  |  Wednesday 13th December
David Lean Cinema, Croydon  |  Wednesday 13th December
Plough Arts Centre, Torrington  |  Wednesday 24th January (+ Director Q&A)
QUAD, Derby  |  Tuesday 30th January (+ Director Q&A)
Sailearna Film Club, Galway  |  Thursday 21st March






“A haunting and harrowing portrait of trauma unleashed by the invasion of Iraq.”

Nick Pelham
The Economist

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