From Baghdad to The Bay


Rafael 2 Sat, Oct 13, 2018 2:00 PM
Sequoia 1 Sun, Oct 14, 2018 2:15 PM
Film Info
Active Cinema
Mind the Gap
Section:Valley of the Docs
Running Time:68 min.
Director:Erin Palmquist
Producer:Erin Palmquist
Frances Reid
Cinematographer:Erin Palmquist
Editor:Eli Olson
Andrew Gersh
Print Source:Erin Palmquist
Note Writer:Esther Liner


Wrongfully accused of being a double agent due to his family ties to the Ba’ath Party, Ghazwan Alsharif, an Iraqi translator for the US Army, winds up detained, tortured, and interrogated by US Military Police. Under great duress, Alsharif confesses to a truth that has been hiding in plain sight for his entire life: He is gay. Unable to stay in Iraq due to the danger his position brings upon himself and his family, he seeks political asylum in the US and lands in San Francisco. Despite newfound liberation and an exciting career as a chef, the loss of connection to his family and homeland is felt throughout the narrative. Utilizing nearly a decade of footage that is vulnerable, candid, intimate, and at times humorous, From Bagdad to The Bay touches upon themes easily recognizable to those who have had to flee their homes to save themselves: alienation, post-traumatic stress, despair, hope, and rebirth.

Expected Guests: Director/Producer Erin Palmquist; Producers Frances Reid, Kat Cole, Neva Tassan, and Jennifer Huang; Talent Ghazwan Alsharif; Editors Andrew Gersh and Eli Olson  (All Screenings)

Additional Information

Erin Palmquist has worked for independent filmmakers as well as Lucasfilm, National Geographic Explorer, and PBS. From Baghdad to The Bay is her first feature-length documentary and has won Best Documentary at Cinequest and Best Film, Programmer's Award for Excellence at OUTshine Miami. She is currently the director of photography for 5 Blocks, a feature-length documentary chronicling revitalization efforts San Francisco’s central Market Street area. She is a producer and the director of photography for the documentary shorts series Oakland Originals.