Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

Baghdad High

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Iraqi docu is heartwarming -- and heartbreaking.

TV HBO Reality TV 2008
Baghdad High Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This autobiographical-style documentary offers viewers a unique opportunity to look at life in Iraq through the eyes of a younger generation whose future is as uncertain as that of their own country. While these middle-class suburban teens think about girls, listen to Western music, text message friends and try to play soccer like David Beckham, their lives are far from carefree. Rising unemployment rates and the inability to plan for the future add to the growing loss of hope that they -- like most of Iraq's youth -- are experiencing. Meanwhile, Ali (who is Kurdish) and Anmar (who is Catholic) live in constant fear of sectarian persecution. And as if all that weren't enough, the boys have to pass their exams and graduate to have any chance of pursuing further education.

Baghdad High is both heartwarming and heartbreaking as it shows these ordinary Iraqi teens and their families trying to live a normal life in a world that seems to be crumbling around them. And it's a refreshing alternative to some of the extremist stereotypes that tend to pop up in the Western media. But most importantly, the movie provides a better understanding of what daily life is like for modern Iraqi teens by looking beyond the political, economic, and social chaos surrounding them and into their minds and hearts. All of this makes it an excellent viewing choice (and discussion starter) for teens and adults, but the intense subject matter, frequent discussion of violence, and strong language make it a bit too intense for younger viewers.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate