February 14, 2006
|Battleground: Thumbs Way Up||Iraq|
While laid up with the flu the last couple of days, I watched GNN's documentary Battleground: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge on DVD. It's available from Netflix if you don't find it at your lcoal video store.
Very highly recommended. It's a low-key and humane portrayal of a cross-section of Iraqis and Americans caught up in the invasion and its aftermath. Filming took place in 2003, when the insurgency was getting underway but had yet to become a full-blown war, but that only adds to the tragic inevitability of it all: as you meet the people, you know what awaits them.
The film doesn't take an in-your-face position, it just lets the events and the personalities speak for themselves, and it really gets under your skin. Michael Moore, take note. The Iraqis, in particular, are quite unforgettable. There is a warmth, intimacy, and nobility in their relations that most Americans would envy. Very, very moving.