Battle for Haditha [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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So I was really excited when I read that "The Battle of Haditha" was shot in Jordan, which is about as close to Anbar as you can get without crossing the border, and used real Iraqis and former-US military personnel. I also liked that Broomfield let them ad-lib most of their lines, giving them a feel of authenticity that no scriptwriter ever can. Broomfield definitely sets standards that every subsequent Iraq film is going to have to live up to. I also liked the controversial topic - there's a reason counterinsurgencies are called "dirty wars" and the Iraqis definitely do an amazing job portraying the mixed loyalties and emotions of many Iraqis as they seek to make some sense out of what was - for many Sunnis - an occupation.Read more ›
This is not an easy watch and I know there will be those who question it's intentions but 'Battle' is not an 'anti-war' film. We are presented with the fact that the soldiers as well as the terrorists are merely human and as such are prone to fear, anger, impukse and acts of horror. By carefully covering the events through three stories, Broomfield examines the events that led to the cause of the shootings as well as the after effects. A master at work, he goes to great detail to make it realistic. Whilst not reaching the gritiness of Paul Greengrass, there is no attempt to glamorise the events and the hand held camera work gets into the actors faces and places us at the centre of the events.
With great music and beautiful photography it is a harrowing but worthy pice of cinema which dares to tell it like it is.
This film suffered from the opposite problem. It was too anti-American. It was a good film but the way it portrayed the 'terrorist' to be, I just didn't believe. It almost made them out to be some sort of Angels, tormented by the deaths they caused. I really don't believe the events and deaths of fellow Iraqis really weighs that heavily on your average insurgents conscience - something this film would have you believe it does, much more so than on your average American soldiers. Again I just don't believe that to be true. I'm sure the majority of troops on the ground do not enjoy the innocent blood-shed at least, that surrounds them.
On the whole though the film does give a good idea of the complexities faced by everyone on the ground in Iraq (as if I'd really know such a thing, but you know what I mean) showing the views of US Marines, your average Iraqi and the so called 'terrorists'.
The film is tense and the battle scene in Haditha good - I just felt that overall the film tried to make too much of a statement and because of that, it lost some credibility and realism with me. I'd also liked to have seen the film resolve a bit more, with some sort of comment on what happened to the soldiers involved after the incident came to light. I haven't watched the extras yet, so maybe I'll find that out in there.
I did find the film quite shocking, which is rare for me and it makes for an uncomfortable watch in places, and overall it's a pretty good film. However, I prefer The Hurt Locker by far - a different kettle of fish all together, I know, but hey if you want to watch a war film, I'd suggest you watch that.
If this review was helpful to you at all please give it the thumbs up. Cheers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pretty good film as good Blu-ray but my copy has English when Americans speak but French when Iraqies speak. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Willie Aitken
Wow,so bad its unreal.If thats how American's act in the middle east no wonder many countries hate themPublished 17 months ago by martin Davis