News about the Iraqi people is so rare in the U.S. media that no documentary on them should be ignored, though this one is limited by its strict focus on the January 2005 election. Director Laura Poitras profiles Dr. Riyadh al-Adhadh, a Sunni physician who ran for the legislature but stayed away from the polls after his Iraqi Islamic Party declared a boycott. Her unobtrusive recording of his family and work life, with its running sound track of not-so-distant explosions and gunfire, is the movie’s most powerful element, interrupted by more prosaic sequences of UN observers and Australian security contractors trying to make the election work. I can’t agree with those critics who’ve praised the film’s lack of polemics—the broader political story is too old to be news and too lacking in perspective to be good history—but as a substantial piece of the puzzle, this is worthwhile viewing. 90 min.