Tracing Iraqi music roots

Marsha Emerman and the poster for her new documentary showcasing Iraqi music. 147451 Picture: VICTORIA STONE-MEADOWS


EMERALD-BASED documentary filmmaker Marsha Emerman will be showcasing her latest work at Cameo Cinema in Belgrave on 27 and 29 November.
‘On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music’ follows an Iraqi-Australian man on his journey to discover the origins of the music he loved as a child in Baghdad.
Majid Shokor’s story begins when he fled the oppressive Saddam regime and found a home in Australia, but the music of childhood lingers in Majid’s mind.
The film tells Majid’s story as he embarks on a bold journey to find out more about the music that has shaped his life.
His quest takes him all over the world from Australia to Israel, Europe and Iraq to meet Iraqi musicians and hear their stories.
“The story is about people connecting through music,” Ms Emerman said.
“I’ve always loved stories that challenge misconceptions and make people think about things in a different way.”
Ms Emerman said the film showed how despite differing life stories and experiences there were common threads that brought people together.
“The film is really all about the common bonds that unite people through their culture and how strong culture is,” she said.
“This applies to all people, not just Iraqis.”
Ms Emerman wanted to challenge the accepted notion of Middle Eastern cultures and demonstrate that through the arts and music in particular, people share in a connection.
“What’s really shown is you see people coming together from different religious backgrounds and political views and the culture bringing them together and it’s very beautiful,” she said.
Ms Emerman believes that through more expressions of art that bring people together rather than divide them, communities can achieve a cultural shift of perception.
“We need more visible expressions of unity and peacefulness between cultures,” she said.
“We need that focus on what we have in common and our common humanity.”
‘On the Banks of the Tigris’ will screen at the Cameo Cinema 27 November, 7 pm and 29 November, 4pm + Q&A with the filmmakers after the film.
Bookings can be made on the Cameo Website:

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