Thursday, May 25, 2006


Must See Film: Baghdad E.R.

This is a film that helps put the Iraq War in perspective. Though brimming with the underpinnings of jingoism (and a strong sense of gratitude to the troops), Baghdad E.R. is actually the kind of documentary upon which honest anti-war protests are built. It puts a face on the war. And if history has taught us anything, it's that once a face is put on a war, that war is soon over. The HBO production, co-directed by Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill, allows viewers to experience -- in close-up and graphic detail -- the physical and emotional toll of combat by focusing the cameras on wounded soldiers and their care providers in inside the 86th Combat Support Hospital in Iraq. While the film makes statements such as "Wounded troops in Iraq have a 90 percent chance of survival - the highest rate of war survivors in U.S. history," the images themselves can't help but underscore the futility of the war and the casualties it produces: an eye being sown, arms and legs being sawed off and thrown in a bag, soldiers clinging to life and loosing that battle. Baghdad E.R. is the catharsis many of us need with regard to this war. Everyone should see it, even if some may grow nauseous watching. If the men and women who are forced to fight this war can endure wounds large enough for a doctor to put his hand in (yes, this film shows that), the least we can do is view what they are going through. Sure Baghdad E.R. is in your face. So what? Watch it anyway.

Wish I had HBO to watch this one.
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