Watch Battle for Haditha

"There are many ways to see the same story"

Battle for Haditha is a historical war drama written by Anna Telford and Nick Broomfield, who also directed. The cast includes Elliot Ruiz, Matthew R. Knoll, Andrew McClaren and Thomas Hennessy. The handheld style of the film is used as a narrative device to tell the compelling story. The film recounts what occurred in the days that led up to November 19, 2005, when a roadside bombing killed a U.S. Marine and American soldiers killed around 24 civilians. Six young children were included in the massacre that was meant to be a standard mission.

The film goes back and forth between soldier, victim and insurgent scenes. A brief scene involves a corporal being scolded for violating Army policy. It is revealed that Corporrez (played by former Marine Elliot Ruiz) suffers from PTSD nightmares but cannot receive any counseling until leaving Iraq.

Al Qaeda recruits are displayed as people selling DVDs to soldiers, while another is the former member of an Iraqi Army. They live in fear of their supervisor's fundamentalism. However, they seem more than pleased to accept $500 in cash and some gasoline in exchange for IED tutorials.

The collateral damage includes an extended family with an infant boy and two lovers. There is a also circumcision ceremony to offer an authentic glimpse into the Iraqi culture. Additionally, there is a neighborhood discussion among the women to convey the irony of their situation. For example, if they should inform authorities, they will most certainly be murdered by terrorists. If not, they will be accused of cooperating with the terrorists and then rounded up and treated as such by the same authorities.

The Gunner Palace is featured along with confessionals through war tapes. The real trouble begins when emotionally bruising presents itself by way of a child's nightmares against rapid fire machine guns. The scene of the flock of sheep over the climactic ending could be seen as particularly haunting. For the most part, the film attempts to display the real life, unflinching truth with grace and dignity.

R
| 2008 | 1 hr 33 min | 7.0/10
Cast
Studio
Director
Nick Broomfield
Language
English
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