Perhaps with the mainstream audience’s addiction to reality television and “found footage” movies such as “Cloverfield” and “Diary of the Dead,” Nick Broomfield’s recent ventures into features will finally give him the credit he richly deserves for a genre that he has been a giant in for over two decades.
His ground breaking and often controversial documentaries have been the template for an entire generation of reality drama, most keenly felt in Paul Greengrass’ work on “United 93.” Now Broomfield seems to have once again found a subject that will divide the public and tap into the collective zeitgeist of the moment.
His “Battle for Haditha” is the true story of a small engagement between a Marine patrol and two local men who have been paid 1000 dollars by al Qaeda to detonate an IED. The chaos that ensues after the explosion which kills a Marine Captain quickly develops into a massacre of the local population by the surviving Marines. In all 24 people died, but this is no crucifixion of the U.S. forces or a condemnation of the insurgents, but rather an even-sided account of one terrible day.
In fact, “Battle for Haditha” is an internal struggle of conscience for all concerned; Marines, civilians, and insurgents alike. Read More