SADDAM AND ME
The Arab Spring echoed a message throughout the world, that the suppression of people by tyrannical dictators is no longer acceptable; but why did dictators such as Saddam Hussein rule unchallenged for so long? Was it through fear and suppression or was there something more? More often than not we are given a glimpse by the media of the atrocities that Saddam inflicted on his people; but what was he really like? What was it like working closely for Saddam Hussein? What were the psychological effects on an individual who knew and worked with him intimately, an individual who understood what was happening to his country, but was powerless to speak out against these atrocities? Does such an individual become immune to the horrors that surround him; is he a similar person, or does he gradually develop the same characteristics as his leader?
For the first time Haitham Rashid Wihaib, Saddam Husain's Minister of Protocol for 13 years, will speak openly about their close relationship. What was the man like on a daily basis, did the higher society of Iraq feel connected to and support his regime and what influence did he have in that society? Looking from within, how did he treat his staff and what was he like as a ruler? Why did Haitham stay with him for 13 years if he knew he was such a tyrant? Why did Saddam eventually put a contract out on his life and why did he escape leaving his family behind? Knowing his family were being tortured in Iraq, why did he make a speech to the press in the UK, which in turn jeopardised his family further? Is he suppressing guilt? Even though his mother has forgiven him, why will he never visit her?
Over the course of one week, under deep scrutiny, Haitham will undergo a set of interviews with a psychoanalyst to understand his circumstances from a multitude of angles. The purpose is to psychologically analyse their relationship over that period to understand how it affected him. Will the truth about their relationship eventually be clarified, will we discover that Saddam changed the man or the man was equally as accountable as Saddam? Will his demons finally be put to rest? Using never before seen archive footage shot over many years we will piece together their life to give a unique picture of the psychological effects of their relationship.
We have full access to the main interviewee, interviews that have already been shot with experts on the Iraq conflict, journalists, torturers and victims of the regime and political figures. We have unique archive footage collected by Haitham during his 13 years working for Saddam. This footage includes Saddam's village life, his public and private executions, torture of victims, daily life in the presidential palace, prisons, his socialising, his son's life in Iraq and Europe and the final scenes of his capture and execution.
The films visual style to our knowledge will be quite unique and not have been used in the documentary format before. We will use multi-camera sets-ups to film the interview over the course of a week. This will be then edited as one linear narrative the second linear narrative will be the edited archive footage. These two narratives will explore the psychological effects of their relationship and the achieve footage will show the rise to power and daily life of Saddam and his family. We will then use a split screen format to interweave these two stories and use a complex sound design to control and direct the audience to the section of the split screen we want them to focus on at any given time.