Friday, December 26, 2008

Battle for Haditha DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Docudrama Reenacts Massacre of Innocent Iraqis

Remember when your mother warned that playing all those gruesome video games would desensitize you to violence? Now witness Exhibit A: Battle for Haditha, showcasing Generation Kill’s all volunteer army in all its glory.
On November 19, 2005, a roadside bomb detonated by Iraqi insurgents exploded under a vehicle killing Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas, while wounding a couple of his comrades. The IED attack so outraged other Marines from Kilo Company riding in the convoy that a dozen of them allegedly went on a rampage later that day, slaughtering 24 innocent civilians living in the City of Haditha.
Though originally covered up, the incident later came to light because part of the massacre had been captured on videotape by a student with a camera. Consequently, several soldiers were court-martialed and charge with murder.
Was their overreaction warranted, given the stress they were under from the day-to-day rigors of patrolling the streets of a village where they were treated as invading enemies? And aren’t all things now fair in war, anyway, given America’s disavowal of the Geneva Conventions?
These are the fundamental human rights questions posed by this super-realistic docudrama which takes a long look at ethnic cleansing from both the perspective of the cleansed and from the point-of-view of the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity. The film stars actual veterans of the Iraq War, and has the authentic feel of footage shot on the front lines of the conflict.
A patriotic rationalization to support the troops, regardless of the transgression, since it’s Bush’s fault that they were sitting ducks in a godforsaken desert where they’re the only available outlet around for every terrorists’ anti-American impulse. What’s next, a picture suggesting that we have to excuse the Abu Ghraib atrocities, too, as reasonable interrogation tactics?

Very Good (3 stars)
In English and Arabic with subtitles.
Running time: 97 minutes
Studio: Image Entertainment
DVD Extras: Commentaries by director Nick Broomfield and by co-star Elliot Ruiz, “The Making of” featurette, a conversation with co-star Eric Mehalacopoulos, casting tapes, an interview with Elliot Ruiz, and a theatrical trailer.

To see a trailer for Battle for Haditha, visit:

No comments: