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film review

My Enemy, My Brother is a feature length documentary about the real life story of two former enemies who become blood brothers for life.

In the Toronto filmmaker Ann Shin's poignant documentary, we meet Najah (an Iraqi) and Zahed (an Iranian), once young soldiers in the brutal Iran-Iraq War. The shooting has long stopped, but the wounds for both of them are open ones. They fought against each other in the Battle of Khorramshahr, in which Najah was injured and then taken prisoner for 17 years. The war also took its toll on Zahed, who was left "emotionally broken" and suicidal. Coming across each other years later in Vancouver, they bond over war stories and the need for closure. Director Shin, who cut her journalism teeth as a CBC Radio producer, knows a good story when one falls in her lap. She follows both of them on their separate journeys back to the Middle East and uses recreated scenes to document their shared pasts. Don't be surprised if this becomes the basis for an "inspired by a true story" heart-wrencher someday.

My Enemy, My Brother opens March 9 in Toronto.