Published on October 31st, 2007 | by Chris0
BattleGround: 21 Days on the Empire’s Edge (2004)
Every once and a while I like to throw a documentary out there, especially when I haven't much of a chance to check out any traditional "war movies" (like lately! sorry!)
Battleground: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge is a multi-faceted look at the war in Iraq. There's lots I could say, and we all have our own opinions on the subject, so let me just leave it at this: "Battleground" is... well its interesting. I can't say I agree with a lot of the ideas they push, and I sure can't agree with some of the viewpoints of those they focus on, but its interesting nonetheless.
It takes on the subject through the eyes of a few different individuals. One is a former Iraqi who fled the country after the 1st Gulf War after he joined the resistance movement which was abandoned by our first King George. I'm not really sure what the point of this was, except maybe to somehow show that things are better now? That he was able to return without facing death for himself and his family? *shrug* His observations and subsequent reunions were probably the most satisfying part of the picture.
Then there is the typical Army colonel. I say typical because in one of the first scenes with this guy he's on the phone asking in typical officer manner, "who's flying a chopper in *my* AO?!" Yeah, that guy. Grudgingly I think they could have chosen a better representative of our forces there. He just comes across as condescending and the stereotypical lifer type who doesn't really give a rat's you-know-what about it.
In another viewpoint, there's the Iraqi who is out warning people of the radioactive dangers of the DU (depleted uranium) rounds in all of the tank wreckages, presumably left over from the first Gulf War. There's a lot of disagreement whether or not the DU is actually harmful. I really can't say, but it paints a picture that I think is rather unfair. Like its somehow the US's fault that Saddam didn't clean up his mess. I dunno. I think the Iraqi people have more important things to worry about frankly.
And then there are disjointed interviews with various Iraqis. Most memorable is the female translator who seems to be living in her own little deluded world about what's going on in the real world. Yeah it seemed that way to me. But I'm not there in the middle of it.
Once again, these are all just my opinions, probably uneducated ones at that. I don't know what's going on over there. I doubt anyone else does who's not actually there either. I suspect that much like Vietnam, we won't find out a lot of the real story until long after its over. Until then we will have to sort things out from various sources, most of which unfortunately seem hell-bent on pushing some sort of agenda or another.
Regardless of your opinions, and mine, I did find Battleground: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge educational and enlightening. Not so much enjoyable, as you will find yourself saying "eh!? WTF?" in an angry way a lot.
BattleGround - 21 Days on the Empire's Edge
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In late 2003, two filmmakers from the award-winning Guerrilla News Network spent three weeks on the frontlines of the war in Iraq, gathering intelligence, dodging bullets, and capturing the untold stories of what has become the world's most covered, and misunderstood, conflict.
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Brand: IMAGE ENT.
Original Release Date:
- Robert Hollis
- Rana al Aiouby
- Farhan al Bayati
- Hesham Barbary
- Raed Jarrar
Summary: Regardless of your opinions, and mine, I did find Battleground: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge educational and enlightening. Not so much enjoyable, as you will find yourself saying "eh!? WTF?" in an angry way a lot.