THE DEMINER

Cert 15 83mins Stars 4

Outrageous courage and real-life footage make this bomb disposal documentary a tense and sobering experience.

It’s a humbling tribute to the remarkable Colonel Fakhir Berwari, a Kurd who served in the Iraqi army after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Hours of footage of him defusing IED’s, land mines and pot bombs was captured on smartphones, transferred to DVD and kept in a family suitcase.

He is armed only with old wire cutters, a broken pickaxe, a devotion to duty and a supreme sense of stoicism. In his first year in Mosul he deactivated over 600 bombs, and in response the US military dubbed him ‘Crazy Fakhir’.

With his wife and eldest son wearing black while interviewed, a sense of doom hangs over the film.

We see him surviving multiple blasts, frequently hospitalised and losing a leg. All of which had me cowering behind my seat every time he disappeared into a doorway, but his indefatigable spirit is never broken.

 

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