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Baghdad After the Storm

Lynsey Addario

Created: 2011

Moviegoers thrill to shaking seats and wind machines during a 3-D film at a theater closed during the war.


For years most of the images of Iraq in the mainstream media have shown bombings, death, and destruction. National Geographic sent Addario to photograph scenes of a recovering country. She set out to capture something positive and fun. “I wanted to show people just losing themselves in the moment in a place that had suffered so much.”

On the grounds of an amusement park she used to visit for a break from the chaos of Baghdad in 2004, Addario discovered a new 4-D cinema. Audience members don 3-D glasses, their seats shake, and they are buffeted by gusts of wind and sprayed by water. Addario visited the theater several times before capturing this image: “It was so dark I could barely photograph. Even with the light of the movie, I could barely take photos and my exposure was incredibly long.”