Here are some clips of useful films we can use for background research.
1) Between Iraq & a Hard Place – documentary
This is a great documentary that gives a real window into life on the ground for US Marines in Iraq. It has a focus on PTSD issues, but there’s a lot of on-the-ground video shot by one of the guys in the unit. It gives a good sense of the atmosphere, the toggling between danger and boredom, relationships between the guys, and the intersection between the Marines and locals. We have dvds of this documentary for anyone who would like to watch it.
2) The Devil’s Double – fiction
This 2011 film is based on a series of books by Latif Yahia, who claims to have been a body double for Uday Hussein in the 1990s. Latif’s claims are dubious, but Uday’s grotesquerie and brutality are so widely documented, that even if the events of the film are fictionalized, they are close to fact in their tenor and type. The movie gives an effective window into Uday’s life and personality, the opulence of his life, his murder and rapes, etc. (A plus: a pretty impressive performance by Dominic Cooper as both Uday and Latif.) I’ll post the trailer below, but you can stream the whole movie on Netflix. Click HERE to access it (subscription required). Bonus: guest appearances by Uday’s gold pistol!
3) Three Kings – fiction
This 1999 movie tells the story of three soldiers who embark on a heist to steal Saddam’s gold at the end of the first Gulf War (1991). Though entirely fictional, for our purposes it blends a useful mix of danger, humor, camaraderie, military boredom and greed. See the trailer below, and stream the movie in whole over at Amazon. Click HERE for the link (streams free with a paid Amazon Prime membership). It can also be rented for $2.99 from iTunes, or $1.99 on YouTube.