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Only the Dead is a war story unlike any ever seen. A story of what happens when one ordinary man, Time magazine war correspondent Michael Ware, transplanted into the Middle East by the reverberations of 9/11, butts into history. Ware handpicked and given a shattering video tape by the most feared, most hated terrorists on the planet to announce his arrival of the world stage sets out on an epic journey into the deepest recesses of the conflict as he seeks answers. Answers that he thinks will lead him to the Truth.
Certain dark chambers of the heart, once opened, can never be closed again. Or so a soldier wrote after serving here. I know this is what Zarqawi had done to so many of us, to the Americans, to the Iraqis, to me... showed us recesses in our souls we never knew we had.
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Hard hitting documentary from one journalist's experience in Iraq.
'Time' magazine reporter Michael Ware was sent to Iraq in 2003 to cover the allies take down of Saddam Hussein. The Americans made short work of getting to Baghdad and toppling the regime. In the power vacuum that was created many factions emerged with differing and often extremist ideologies and soon insurrection became rife.
Ware was keen to see the war from both sides and went out of his way to contact the insurgents. This he was able to do after gaining the trust of a number of players. He was then used to 'promote' videos of their attacks and other deeds. He soon became involved with one of the most brutal of these insurgents - Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. In this film he chronicles what he did in a linear format which also relates how the conflict grew and developed, this goes on for some seven years.
The footage is often extremely upsetting; showing the aftermath of suicide bombings, torture and beheadings. He has managed to get some very gritty footage and he did put his personal safety on the line on more than one occasion. The question that is left slightly hanging is whether he was abetting their crimes or merely reporting what occurred. He does mention the ethical conflict but some will find it inadequate. However, that is not the point of the film. This is a true account of what one man did in a war that many will say was totally unjustified. I found it upsetting, moving, heart breaking, visceral and sad. This is a film you will not be able to say you 'liked', it is a film that people should see, the true face of war is often air brushed by the media – this is anything but and as such is a film I can recommend.
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