NPR listeners had the opportunity, earlier this morning, to hear filmmaker Nick Broomfield talk about his "new" movie, Battle for Haditha. Broomfield and one of his non-professional actors, Marine veteran Elliot Ruiz, spoke with Scott Simon on Weekend Edition Saturday. As the NPR web site explains:
Filmmaker Nick Broomfield has made a dramatic movie about the 2005 massacre in the farming town of Haditha, Iraq. The soldiers in the film are played by Iraq war veterans and Iraqi refugees living in Jordan play the parts of Iraqi civilians and insurgents.Battle for Haditha is opening in New York this coming week and it will be in cinemas nationwide later in the month. For participants in the Virginia Film Festival, however, this is all old news. Broomfield brought Battle for Haditha to Charlottesville last November, where he discussed his film in a Q&A session with audience members. (Including those, like me, who had been shooed away from a screening of Tamara Jenkins' The Savages by security guards hired to prevent anyone with a cell phone or camera from entering the Paramount Theatre.)
Seeing Battle of Haditha turned out to be the better choice, however, because Broomfield's film was one of the best offerings of the festival. Whether his will turn out to be the first movie about the Iraq War to make money as well as garner critical praise remains to be seen. It surely deserves both.
I posted video of Broomfield's post-screening discussion a couple of hours after it ended; here it is again.
I recommend Battle for Haditha. See it if it comes to a cinema near you.