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My Enemy, My Brother: Journey Beyond the Battlefield on the Iran-Iraq War

"My Enemy, My Brother" is a poignant documentary that explores the power of humanity and friendship amidst the chaos of war.

Keywords: Documentary, Iran-Iraq War, Friendship, Sacrifice, Brotherhood, Redemption, Journey. Three words: Heartfelt, Inspiring, Revealing


"My Enemy, My Brother" is a compelling documentary directed by Ann Shin and released in 2018. The film centers on the extraordinary tale of two men who, despite having been enemies in the Iran-Iraq war, become as close as brothers, bound by a life-saving act on the battlefield.


"My Enemy, My Brother" tells the real-life story of Zahed and Najah, two former adversaries from the Iran-Iraq war. Zahed, an Iranian child soldier, saves Najah, an Iraqi soldier, during one of the bloodiest battles of the war. This act of bravery and humanity amidst the chaos of war leads to a deep bond between them. Three decades later, they journey back into the heart of a region torn apart by war and ISIS, a journey with consequences for both men.

More Film Analysis


The documentary excels in its intimate and personal approach. The director delves deep into the lives of Zahed and Najah, exploring their pasts, their unlikely friendship, and the challenging journey they embark on together. The film's depth of research and exploration of its subject matter is commendable.

Historical and Factual Context

"My Enemy, My Brother" provides a unique perspective on the Iran-Iraq war, one of the longest and deadliest conflicts of the 20th century. It also sheds light on the ongoing conflict and devastation caused by ISIS in the region.

Key themes in the film

  • The power of humanity and compassion amidst war
  • Friendship transcending borders and political ideologies
  • The long-lasting effects of war on the individual and society

Film Comparisons

Compared to other war documentaries, "My Enemy, My Brother" stands out for its focus on personal experiences and relationships, rather than the larger political and military landscape.

Noteworthy Moments

One significant moment in the film is when Zahed makes the potentially life-threatening decision to save Najah on the battlefield, forever changing the course of both their lives.


This documentary has received critical acclaim for its moving portrayal of friendship and humanity in the face of war. Critics have praised it as "a heartbreaking study of the healing power of kindness and the enduring effects of trauma" (Film Comment).


"My Enemy, My Brother" is a profound exploration of the human capacity for empathy and kindness, even in times of extreme conflict. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in understanding the personal experiences of war and the power of human connection.

More film information:


  • IMDB Score: 7.5/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
  • Metacritic Score: NA
  • Film festival awards: Oscar shortlisted



  • Zahed: Iranian child soldier who saves Najah's life on the battlefield
  • Najah: Iraqi soldier saved by Zahed



  • Iran
  • Iraq

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

  • How can acts of humanity and kindness emerge even in the midst of war?
  • What are the lasting psychological effects of war on individuals?
  • How can former enemies form deep bonds of friendship?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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If this film was a famous book, it would be "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque for its exploration of war through the lens of personal experience and friendship.
If this film was a famous song, it would be "Imagine" by John Lennon because it promotes peace and unity.
If this film was a famous piece of art, it would be Picasso's "Guernica" as it depicts the horrors and chaos of war.
If this film was a celebrity, it would be Angelina Jolie for her humanitarian work in war-torn regions.
If this film was a color, it would be red for its depiction of the violence of war, but also the deep bond of friendship.
If this film was a music style, it would be a symphony, reflecting the complexity and depth of emotions experienced by Zahed and Najah.