Screened as part of NZIFF 2005
Filmmakers Garrett Scott and Ian Olds were surprised how readily they gained accreditation as embedded journalists with the US Army in Iraq. It wasn’t that they went with subversive intentions, but they did intend to keep the cameras rolling well beyond the scope of television news reportage. They spent six weeks in Falluja in early 2004, just before the graphic murder of two ‘contractors’ turned the city into the new front line in the war on evildoers. Cynical, blunt, sometimes caustically funny, the soldiers of the occupying army provide a potent antidote to the recruitment ads.
“What emerges from the night-vision raids, confused culture clashes, and agitated downtime is at once an eerie portrait of a city quietly about to explode and an unnervingly intimate look at eight young soldiers that accords their individuality due scrutiny. The implicit question that underscores the troops’ daily routine but that they can’t afford to express too often – why the fuck are we here – is deafening by the end.” — Dennis Lim, Village Voice