This article examines two documentaries on Iraqi Jews, Forget Baghdad and Remember Baghdad, that focus on the expulsion of Iraqi Jews from Iraq and their lives in Israel and Britain. The exile of Jews from Iraq heralded the end of a vibrant social and political space that Iraqi Jews shared with fellow Iraqis. This article argues that by focusing on questions of forgetting and remembering, the two documentaries foreground memory and nostalgia as sites to explore issues related to home, dislocation, and subjectivity at physical and symbolic levels. Moreover, the acts of remembrance in the films emerge as a dynamic terrain upon which political, generational, and class differences were inscribed and invoked. Iraqi Jews found themselves trapped within a binary framework of Arab nationalistic and Zionist discourses whereby Arabness and Jewishness emerged as an antithesis and denoted otherness, and their position within nation-states became unintelligible. The films, however, reconstruct, in different ways, the possibilities where Arabness, Jewishness, and Iraqiness could overlap, live side by side, and challenge national narratives. Reading the films alongside each other challenges any monolithic or essentialist narratives about an Iraqi Jewish experience by shedding light on the diversity of political projects among Iraqi Jews.

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