Disease, calamity and death may be pervasive in Iraq, but filmmaker Andrew Berends's documentary When Adnan Comes Home uncovers an Arabic story so rife with devastation - and so heart-rending - that it supersedes all others. As a 16-year-old Iraqi adolescent from a deeply impoverished family, Adnan Ghazi made the imprudent decision to snatch two meters of electric cable from the state. Though seemingly a minor transgression, the Iraqi government regarded this as a seditious act, as the stolen cables (particularly when melted down) could easily impede national reconstruction. Authorities snatched Ghazi and threw him into a hellish youth penitentiary, the Karkh Juvenile Detention center, with a court trial pending. Then, the unthinkable occurred: two of Ghazi's fellow inmates conspired to escape from the center by starting a fire one fateful night. The scheme not only went terribly (and predictably) awry but veered into extreme tragedy - of the 21 male prisoners taken to the hospital, three died of smoke inhalation, and the remainder suffered from severe burns over the majority of their bodies. Ghazi emerged alive, but only barely, as the most disfigured of the survivors - the epidermis on his hands and scalp gone, his ears burned off altogether. Amazingly, through it all - despite the knowledge that only partial physical recovery could occur - Ghazi only sought reconciliation with his father, Abu Mustafa, who initially swore that he would never agree to visit his son in prison. The story then took an even more astonishing turn thanks to Berends. The filmmaker learned of the events and used his documentary camera as an intermediary, carrying messages in-between the parties and thus establishing gradual reconciliation between Abu Mustafa and his son. Learning of his son's injuries, Mustafa broke down and agreed to visit Ghazi in the hospital; Berends then essentially moved in with the family and continued his filmed record of their existence, placing strong emphasis on everything from the family's daily rituals and hardships (such as the father's $35 per month pension) to the joyous circumstances surrounding the birth of Ghazi's nephew. All of these events are captured in Berends's documentary; the film also details the family's strenuous efforts to ensure a fair trial for Ghazi, which means negotiating the labyrinthine canals of the Iraqi justice system. The motion picture thus details Mustafa valiant fight for Ghazi's full liberation.