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Synopsis

House of Saddam offers a fresh perspective on the dictator, his relationships and his actions behind closed doors, retelling events from inside the very heart of the regime. The international cast includes Igal Naor ("Rendition," "Munich") as Saddam Hussein; Oscar® nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo ("House of Sand and Fog") as Saddam's first wife, Sajida; Philip Arditti ("10 Days to War") as Saddam's oldest son, Uday; Said Taghmaoui ("Vantage Point," "The Kite Runner") as Saddam's half-brother, Barzan Ibrahim; and Christine Stephen-Daly ("Casualty," "Cutting It") as Saddam's mistress and subsequent second wife, Samira.

"In the history of Iraq and in the world of Saddam Hussein, details are often blurred by politics, propaganda and pure self-interest," explains co-director, co-writer and executive producer Alex Holmes. "We set out to talk to as many people as we could who had known Saddam first-hand in order to piece together a picture of what life was like inside Saddam's ever-shrinking inner circle. We spoke to his allies and to his adversaries; to politicians, exiles, palace insiders, his cooks, his menservants, friends of the Hussein family and government ministers. We interviewed people inside and outside Iraq.

"We cross-referenced these interviews with pictures and home movies left behind by the Hussein family, some produced for propaganda purposes, but others more candid, salvaged from the regime's destroyed palaces. And we accessed the partial trail of documents that emerged following the fall of the secretive and obsessively bureaucratic regime. The process took three years and involved a team of three researchers, all Arabic speakers. What emerges is a distinct and independent portrait of a dictator and his center of power."

Beginning in 1979, when Saddam seized control of Iraq in a bloody coup, the miniseries details the impact of his political ambitions and his belief in his own historical significance on his most trusted advisors, closest friends and family members - and on Saddam himself. Within the walls of his opulent palaces and on the streets of Iraq, respect and love are interwoven with fear as Saddam exerts his dominance. He maintains power for almost 25 years in the face of mounting domestic and international pressures, demonstrating an amazing aptitude for survival. Eventually, however, the House of Saddam begins to crumble, and as its leader becomes increasingly isolated from the international community and those nearest to him, his grip on reality and on power fades.

HBO Films Presents In association with BBC HOUSE OF SADDAM   Igal Naor Shohreh Aghdashloo Makram J Khoury Philip Arditti Amr Waked Mounir Margoum and Said Taghmaoui  Music by Samuel Sim   Editors Philip Kloss and Crispin Green  Production Designer Maurice Cain  Director of Photography Florian Hoffmeister  Executive Producers Hilary Salmon, Alex Holmes   Written by Alex Holmes and Stephen Butchard   Produced by Steve Lightfoot Parts I and II Directed by Alex Holmes   Parts III and IV Directed by Jim O'Hanlon

Saddam Hussein waving

House of Saddam

HBO Films

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Photos Saddan Hussein holding the arm of Sajida Khairallah Tulfah

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