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Documentary on Haditha, Iraq massacre

NickBroomfield.jpgNick Broomfield is known for a couple of really strong documentaries, Biggie and Tupca, Kurt & Courtney, and the one that sticks with me the most, Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer. Now he's about to tackle the story that alleges US Soldiers massacred Iraqi familes in Haditha after one of their men was killed by a roadside bomb.

Witnesses said the Marines went from house to house killing members of three families, including a 1-year-old child. Military investigations into the incident are ongoing.

The event itself sounds harrowing, and Broomfield is keen to tackle the topic and he's already met with survivors and seen some handheld footage of the attacks. In the article at Reuters he goes on to say:

"We met with some of the survivors of the massacre who had a lot of material that they filmed, which gave us a very detailed idea of what happened," he said. "We talked to members of the insurgency because I felt the insurgency is almost like a concrete wall. It's like, who are these insurgents?"

I have always been impressed with Broomfield, unlike a lot of documentary makers he really does get involved in his projects, and that sounds like a golden rule that should not be broken in documentaries, but he does, and he does it well and still manages to show a very even handed film at the end of it. This is something that's clear from the beginning of this project too, when he talks about the US Soldiers:

"These are 18-year-old kids, a lot of whom are gang members, never even finished high school, went straight into the Marines, went through Fallujah and just got into that killing zone," he said. "They're not bad guys; they're just doing what they're trained to do."

I'm really keen to see how this develops, I'm quite a fan of Broomfield, and with him this promises to be strong, open, very understanding, but it won't gloss anything over, even blame.





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Comments

This sounds like a project that will definitely help the American cause.

Why would a film maker want to do whatever is in his power to basically fuel more hostility towards America and our presence in the world. It's a shame. All it will do is cause more hatred and make our war on terror that much more difficult.


~Drewbacca

Mmm...you could say the same comment as regards Rwanda, Dafur, or many of the untold genocide\massacre tales that many countries have been involved in and failed to end.

Why would they want to tell it? Well to educate people in what has happened rather than hushing it up as it might upset some countries political goals.

I think this is especially good because of Broomfield's unbiased views.

while I'm not at all anti war, I do have to admit that putting anyone with a history of violence into a position where they have authority over innocent people whom my country is trying to help is completely insane. I'll watch for this film as it goes along.

Actually I'd heard about the case itself a while ago and thought it was probably true. We're letting alot of people in the armed forces whom wouldn't normally make the cut and I don't know if that's a good idea, or even what the alternative would be. All I know is, at this point, at least we can hope that justice will be done.

I've also never been exposed to this director's work before. It's so hard to make a film this politically charged without turning out a hock piece that's either pro or anti war. I think the story here lies somewhere between such stances...

BTW: Drewbacca, I fear the same as you. There's this feeling that we americans cannot escape whenever we hear of such projects. It gets tiresome to see such hatred for my country. In this case, though, I have to turn off that kneejerk and delve a bit deeper.

after all, we're trying to build a government in Iraq. A Government that would hold such perpetrators responsible for their crimes. We must hold ourselves just as accountable. Sure it's nto been done before, but at some point, we have to draw that line in the sand and make the buck stop with us, you know?

...and us mogulus, and others. It's not just American troops over there, and these stories are coming out about British troops too, although the obvious focus are the American stories as those will get the most air time and have the most impact.

I do fear the negative effect of such stories, but I do think Broomfield will be very careful to look both ways.


No matter what you do, when they hate you, they will always.

Let´s give the benefit of the doubt to Broomfield, though. To me, he´s also new. It seems very good doccumentaries are spreading around.

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