Saturday, November 15, 2008

Occupation: Dreamland (2005)

There's nothing brilliant about the way this film was put together, but the raw content itself makes it worth watching. The most disturbing thing about it is seeing the terrified women and children huddle against the wall while coalition troops conduct house raids and arrest suspected insurgents. Most of it was filmed in Fallujah before the first siege of that city, which took place about a year after the invasion of Iraq. We get to meet lots of American soldiers, and surprisingly, their political views are all over the map. But even most of those who support the war are upset about one thing or another regarding the way it's being waged or the way they are being treated by their own government or the local population. Highlights include a presentation to the troops about re-enlistment, where the gist of the message is "Come on, who else is gonna hire you? You'll have to live with your mom if you quit", which actually doesn't sound that bad to some of them. And the weekly public relations meetings, where the gist of the message is "Hey, sorry we have to act like assholes, but people are shooting at us. See you next week if we haven't arrested or killed you by then."

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