Last week at the 49th Monte Carlo Television Festival Israeli actor Igal Naor won a Golden Nymph award for Outstanding Actor in the miniseries House Of Saddam. If you haven’t seen this four part HBO/BBC2 co-production, this might be a good time to brush up on your Iraqi history. The miniseries spans 25 years of Saddam Hussein’s rule, starting in the 1979 coup that brought him to power and details the Iraqis’ love and fear for their leader, up to his demise. Igal Naor delivers a brilliant performance, showing the depths of the dictator’s mind, while avoiding making a caricature out of this complex man. Naor, who also played a brilliant role as an Egyptian interrogator in the 2007 film Rendition, proves that the West’s fascination with the Arab world in recent years provides acting opportunities much more significant than the clichéd ‘dead terrorist number 3’ roles.
Two other Israeli actors in this production are Makram Khoury as Tariq Aziz, the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Uri Gavriel as “Chemical Ali” Hassan al-Majid, head of Mukhabarat, the Iraqi intelligence Agency.
Here’s a short inside look: