In The News

< back to In The News list

Press Release: Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories


In March 2003, Mike Shiley was doing what most ordinary Americans were doing—sitting on the sofa, watching the nightly news coverage of Gulf War II and wondering what was really going on in Iraq.  Shiley, an avid world traveler, was personally driven to travel to Iraq and produce a documentary film about what was happening behind the scenes.

Although Shiley is not a journalist, he convinced local television affiliate KATU in Portland, OR, to grant him permission to cover the Oregon National Guard in Iraq.  Shiley still needed press credentials, so he went to his local Kinko’s print shop where he ingeniously made a homemade press pass.  He then cashed in airline miles and with a single contact name written on a crumpled piece of paper, crossed into Iraq—setting off on a journey that would change his life forever.

Armed only with a camera and a local guide and a rented bulletproof vest (used!), Shiley traveled throughout the country of Iraq for two months, filming unique stories the national media ignores, showing the reality of life in Iraq beyond the media and military spin.

Rather than trying to push a political point of view, Shiley let his camera roll, catching a multitude of real-life moments that tell it like it is. The result is a highly thought-provoking and reasonably unbiased 84-minute documentary film entitled, INSIDE IRAQ: THE UNTOLD STORIES.

Web: Â www.InsideIraqTheMovie.com
Contact: Â Mike Shiley, 503-936-1866
Email: mike@shidogfilms.com
Run time: Â 85 minutes
Rating: Â PG 13 for violence, language, graphic images

FILM FESTIVALS
*Ashland International Film Festival
*Artivist Film Festival
*Santa Fe Film Festival
*Deep Ellum Film Festival
*Wine Country Film Festival

AWARDS
*2004 New Director of the Year from Travel Adventure Cinema Society
*2004 Colonel’s civilian medal for combat bravery-3rd ACR, Iraq
*2004 Colonel’s civilian medal for war coorespondance-82 ROC, Iraq

MEDIA REVIEWS

Those who are strongly for or against the Iraq war won’t find their positions unequivocally supported by this film. Which is what makes it worth seeing.
The Portland Tribune

Shiley's film is an incredible guided tour of the Iraq that has yet to be adequately portrayed in mainstream American media.
Willamette Week (Portland, OR)-Movie Review

It's a journey worth taking, but better him than you… a highly personal travelogue that sheds a light on a complex and volatile situation.
The Oregonian, Portland, OR

Shiley deserves credit for going to Iraq twice by himself (both times for a month) and trying to get stories he believes are worth showing.
San Francisco Chronicle

Shiley captures quite a lot of intriguing footage – and makes an important point about just how out of control the situation in Iraq has gotten…”
San Francisco Bay Guardian

What an amazing, powerful film and presentation.
University of Wisconsin

Shiley's footage presented stories of survival amidst extreme strife, the human stories that are not seen for the very most part on the nightly news.
Purdue University

I think the questions you raised last night are part of the conversation we should all be having, and I think it is really admirable that you did the work to help us to have it. Keep it up!
Harvard Alumni Association, Boston, MA

I think this film has a future as an important source of information for citizens who are confused about the US 'project' in Iraq.
Reed College, Portland, OR

Inside Iraq is a rare, unfettered look at what’s going on “over there”.
The Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, WI

An evenhanded, compassionate observer, Shiley has made a war documentary of exceptional humanity.
The Daily Page, Madison, WI

It’s hard to argue with Shiley’s desire to show so much more of Iraq and it’s people than we see on our nightly news. “…a heartfelt documentary…”
The Denver Post

It’s a fascinating blend, one that you hardly get in the bifurcated world of American opinion.
The Missoulian, Missoula, MT

The result is a fascinating, unfiltered perspective-devoid of any overt political stance and unbogged-down by talking-head analysis.
The Independent, Missoula, MT