Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai was screened in Baghdad in Iraq just outside Green Zone on July 15, 2012. This was the first Indian film to be screened in the last twenty years in Iraq.
The screening was organised by Safia Taleb Al Suhail, member of the Iraqi parliament and His Excellency Suresh Reddy, felicitating the show. Ambassador of Bangladesh too was present for the screening.
The screening went off well despite two power failures. Many of the soldiers sneaked in for the show.
After the screening, Dr. Shafeeq Al-Mahdi, Director of Ministry of Culture, Cinema and Theater spoke on the fact how Indian cinema has changed from the films he grew up watching before the war. Many Iraqi’s commented that they would never be allowed to make such films and moaned the lack of dialogue and freedom of speech in their country.
The subject of Shanghai was debated heatedly as issue of development is an important issue in today’s Iraq. Every one asked the MP to get more Indian films to Iraq.
People liked the film so much that after the screening some of the soldiers even asked for the film’s poster to put up in their bunks. There was much nostalgia in the audience remembering late superstar Shammi Kapoor.