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Occupation: Dreamland (2005)

Unrated  |   |  Documentary, War  |  19 May 2006 (Italy)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 371 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 9 user | 47 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

In January, 2004, in Al-Falluja, Iraq, a documentary film crew follows an infantry squad of the 82nd Airborne, US Army. Cameras accompany the squad of seven on day and night patrols, as ... See full summary »

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Title: Occupation: Dreamland (2005)

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Storyline

In January, 2004, in Al-Falluja, Iraq, a documentary film crew follows an infantry squad of the 82nd Airborne, US Army. Cameras accompany the squad of seven on day and night patrols, as they watch their backs, kick down doors, search for weapons, interrogate women, detain a few people, and listen to the complaints of locals. At their barracks, a former Baathist retreat called Dreamland, the men talk: about why they enlisted, civilian prospects, feelings about the war and Iraqis, where they were when a comrade died a few weeks before. We see them wait for translators and try a few words of Arabic; we hear their frustrations. We watch them pressured to reenlist. Tensions mount in Falluja. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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iraq | iraqi | army | vulgarity | army life | See All (10) »

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Documentary | War

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19 May 2006 (Italy)  »

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Featured in 2006 Independent Spirit Awards (2006) See more »

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He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's The Pilot
Performed by Grandaddy
Courtesy of V2
Written by Jason Lytle
Published by BMG Songs, Inc. o/b/o Genghis Music, Deadlineless & Jason Lytle
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User Reviews

 
admirable documentary
30 July 2005 | by (NZ) – See all my reviews

i went to see "occupation: dreamland" not because i'm interested in iraq or US foreign policy but because i'm interested in the psychology of soldiers & people at war - in particular, what allows someone to hurt, damage & kill someone else - and i really enjoyed getting up close & personal with the soldiers of the 82nd airborne. their candid reflections on what they're doing there & what the war is about are equally charming & terrifying ("i have confidence the government wouldn't send us just to protect oil"; "it's all about adding another OPEC country") and some of the footage detailing army practices (the reenlistment scene, for example) are just plain terrifying. the film is also a useful companion piece to the fresh-faced army press officer of "control room". quite frankly, these guys seemed a lot more clued up, despite being (as one review puts it), "21-28 year-old high school dropouts and failed junior college liberal arts majors whose enlistment stems more from a lack of options than patriotism or ideology."

speaking of reviews, one of the most interesting things for me, as a non-American, were comments like the following from the reviews: "In this sense, then, the greatest accomplishment of 'Occupation: Dreamland' is showing those of us on the home front that it really is possible, Republican howling to the contrary aside, to support our troops without supporting the war itself." um, sorry? sure, you don't need to spit on them from a great height, but you either support one country invading another or you don't. the soldiers conscientiously carried out their instructions to spread a little good pr, but no one was fooled, least of all the soldiers themselves. shame, really, that they weren't being used on true peace-keeping missions in places that could use a little first-world intervention. darfur or the ivory coast, anyone?


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