Filmmaker brings Haditha film to Arab viewers

Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:50am EST
 
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By Charles Masters and Stuart Kemp

DUBAI (Hollywood Reporter) - Nick Broomfield's documentary career began in the early 1970s and has spanned topics from fetishists, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love to female serial killer Aileen Wuornos and white supremacists.

The British filmmaker is shifting his approach. His last two movies have been scripted movies based on facts. For his latest, he turns his attention to the conflict in Iraq with "Battle For Haditha."

The picture, which is screening at the Dubai Film Festival, investigates the 2005 shooting deaths of two dozen unarmed men, women and children in the Iraqi town of Haditha. Eight U.S. Marines were originally charged in the case, which sparked international condemnation of U.S. forces in Iraq. Charges against two officers and two enlisted men have been dismissed. Two others are awaiting a decision on whether they will face court martial.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A FILM

ABOUT THE IRAQ WAR?

Nick Broomfield: I felt that I didn't really understand the Iraqi situation. The reporting has all been pretty much from the green zone and drip-fed from Washington. Questions such as who are the Iraqis and what is the culture and who are the insurgents were what I wanted to ask. I was looking for a story to get beyond all the statistics and daily reporting on the war and build a very human account of the conflict.

THR: WHY THIS SPECIFIC INCIDENT IN HADITHA?

Broomfield: I think that the incident at Haditha is a very important part of the Iraq war and something that will always be remembered. When we read about these things in our homes we have no sense of how quickly and why these decisions are made and cinema can take people to that place like no other art form.   Continued...

 
<p>Film director Nick Broomfield gestures during a photocall to promote "Battle for Haditha", a dramatic reconstruction of an incident involving U.S. marines in Iraq, on the second day of the San Sebastian Film Festival, September 21 2007. Broomfield's documentary career began in the early 1970s and has spanned topics from fetishists, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love to female serial killer Aileen Wuornos and white supremacists. REUTERS/Vincent West</p>