Thursday, July 10, 2008

HBO’s Mini-Series GENERATION KILL Tells of the First 40 Days of the War in Iraq

After reading the review in the July 10th Daily Variety about HBO’S seven-part miniseries GENERATION KILL starting July 13, I really wished we got HBO so I could watch the series. (And, yes, we finally got Showtime to see SLEEPER CELL and then kept it for THE TUDORS, but I don’t think we’ll get HBO now.)

The review by Brian Lowry praised this mini-series that tells of the first 40 days in 2003 of the war in Iraq. The movie is based on Rolling Stone journalist Evan Wright’s first-person account of being embedded with Marines of the First Reconnaissance Battalion.

Lowry says: “Writers [David] Simon and [Ed] Burns (and directors Susanna White and Simon Cellan Jones) engender sympathy toward the warriors without flinching from the innocent lives taken under the ever-fluctuating ROE, or Rules of Engagement.”

Yet, it’s the sentence following the one above that gave me pause: “War fatigue has already been blamed for dwindling news coverage from Iraq and tepid box office performance by several related movies …”

I re-read this line, then circled it in the review. As I recall, during the Vietnam War there was nightly news coverage of footage from the battlefields. Now my memory may be somewhat faulty because I didn’t watch that news so as not to worry about my ROTC boyfriend/soon-to-be husband being sent to Vietnam.

Was there more coverage because, with a draft during Vietnam as opposed to an all-voluntary army now, there was more national concern about what was happening half-way around the world? Or is it because we now have so many more “channels” of entertainment – from the internet to cable television to our cell phones – that traditional news coverage seeks new topics rather than covering a years-old war?

I had a moment earlier today when I was completing a mundane task – and what flashed through my mind was, at this exact moment, a U.S. soldier could be getting killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Regardless of dwindling news coverage from Iraq, we Americans need to remind ourselves that those men and women representing us are in harm’s way.

Also today I got an email from an Air Force wife with a book blog who wants to review MRS. LIEUTENANT. She wrote: “I can also relate to the feelings that these women in the book are having; my husband has been deployed many times and you always have that fear that something will happen.”

For those people who do have HBO, GENERATION KILL will hopefully remind people of what’s happening halfway around the world.

As for me, I’ll have to content myself with buying the book to find out what happens.

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1 comment:

Phyllis Zimbler Miller said...

Dorothy Rabinowitz in her July 11th Wall Street Journal television column said this about GENERATION KILL: "To meet these Marines on the road to Baghdad ... is to end up enlisted for the full journey."