Mortars Poster


When your world is crumbling, who do you turn to?

Fighting a lifelong battle for compensation for her crumbling house, an elderly woman finds a young refugee living on her doorstep.

Filigree Films presents MORTARS, a hybrid feature film, traversing documentary & fiction by writer/director, Iqbal Barkat.

Jackie has lived for more than fifty years on the edge of Western Sydney. For most of that time she has sought compensation from the Australian Defence Force – the house that she built is crumbling around her as a result of munitions detonations at the nearby military base.

Into this fraught environment comes a young fugitive. There is war in his history too – untold violence in unknown lands. Jackie offers him shelter, but the connection between the two is never completely easy. Can she trust him with her safety? Can he trust her with his?

Jackie’s story, the crumbling beauty of the home, and the words given to the silent young man through the poet Labid, are artfully combined in this multi-layered story that asks us to think more deeply about the other’s experience. This is a story with unstable foundations at its core. This is a story about the compassion that can thrive in spite of that.

IMDB page


(Official Selection – Arkipel Jakarta International Documentary & Experimental Film Festival 2015)

(Screenings – Nambour Arthouse Cinema & Murwillumbah Regent Cinema in 2014)


“…strongly structured with a thriller sweep, intensely personal in an ethnographical way with a broad cultural sensitivity to human interaction, and artfully put together—Rembrandt-like in its distilled beauty that presents Western Sydney as lyricism…”

Dr Bruce Crossman, Senior Lecturer in Music Composition/Coordinator of Composition, University of Western Sydney


“It is an excellent work that translates community concerns, historical and regional research into a complex and multilayered fictional narrative.”

Rachel Bentley, Chief Executive Officer, Television Sydney Limited


“… (Mortars) brings out the realities of the human condition across the globe, crossing all physical and psychological boundaries, wrenching the heart and leaving the viewer to search the soul for the meaning and purpose of life.”

Dr Asha Chand, Lecturer, Communications (SoHCA), University of Western Sydney

Review on Global Media Journal (Vol. 8 Issue 2 2014)


“Mortars tackles tough issues around the immigrant debate in Australia; blurring dream and reality and treats the audience to real-time takes and the challenge to sit with characters and concepts that normally pass us by in split second frames in commercial films… The concepts that immediately come to mind are social and political issues as well as the art of “slow cinema” as an act of cultural resistance.”

Aku Kadogo, Cosby Endowed Professor in The Arts Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia


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Writer/ Director
Iqbal Barkat

Natalie Oliver

Vincent Tay

Sound & Music
Matt Lord

Key Cast
Jacoba Van Dykk Daalmeijer & Chris Kharoufeh

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