Battle For Haditha (15)

Directed by Nick Broomfield
Written by Nick Broomfield, Marc Hoeferlin, Anna Telford
Screening at FACT from 22nd February 2008

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Nick Broomfield's docu-drama is a chilling account of of a real-life atrocity that took place in the Iraqi city of Haditha. It occured during November 2005 ,when a US Marine was killed after a bomb planted at the side of a road exploded under the Humvee he was travelling in.

Soon afterwards it was alleged that that his comrades, seeking revenge, murdered twenty-four Iraqis in houses and cars in the vicinity of the explosion, among them women and children.

The film looks at the events, both before and after the massacre, from a number of different perspectives.

Although Broomfield does not flinch from utterly condemning the brutality of the Marines involved in the slaughter, he lays the overall blame in how this incident could occur at the feet of the political morons in the White House. The soldiers are just pawns in the killing game.

Each atrocity in Iraq leads to an even more devastating massacre, as both the Iraqis and Americans seek retribution for what tragedy had previously taken place. The Iraqis despise the occupiers while the Americans, increasingly dehumanished whilst being stationed there, treat the people living there as less than zero.

It is a tribute to Broomfield that the film has been produced and released while the tribunals are still deciding upon the fate of the Marines involved.

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Comment left by Paul Littler on 1st April, 2008 at 18:23
Battle for Haditha is Broomfield's first attempt at making a docu-drama feature film. His directing style is very loose and it appears obvious that he is feeling his way into the genre. In this transition into a stricter form of filmmaking, I think he has allowed far too much leeway to his cast of novice actors, although, the film still manages to shine as a testament, of the reality of war on the people of Iraq .

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