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Occupation: Dreamland (2005)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 331 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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Cast

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Matthew Bacik ...
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Chris Corcione ...
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Eric Forbes ...
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Patrick Napoli ...
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Thomas Turner ...
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Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Blyer ...
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Robert McGuire ...
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Ryan Mish ...
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Austin Nichols ...
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Luis Pacheco ...
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Bryan Rowland ...
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Joseph Wood ...
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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 more »

Genres:

Documentary | War

Certificate:

Unrated
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Release Date:

19 May 2006 (Italy)  »

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

Soundtracks

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

 
Every American must see this film
13 November 2005 | by (Austin, Texas) – See all my reviews

In case you haven't noticed (and why should you), the United States has been engaged in a massive war for almost three years and over 2,000 American lives lost. There have been several documentaries made about the war, but sadly most of them have been about the White House and Pentagon and what the filmmakers think of them.

"Occupation: Dreamland" is different. It tells the story of the war not from a politician's or reporter's eye-view, but through the stories of our troops. There is none of the clever editing or voiced-over partisan hyperbole that you get from propagandists like Fox News or Michael Moore. All we see is the war as it happens and the soldiers' comments on what is going on.

The soldiers do not all agree with each other about the necessity of the war or support for the current President, but they all agree that they have a job to do and a duty to do it to the best of their ability. What I also like is that there were Iraqis willing to talk to the filmmakers about their perspective about the war, and you realize that these are not just a race of drooling assassins (the way they would be portrayed in a Hollywood action film), but frustrated human beings who resent having to have foreign troops in their neighborhoods.

Watching this film, you see how these men deal with boredom alternating with fear for one's life. And in between battles and the doldrums, there are USO shows and scary retention meetings, where recruiters basically tell the soldiers they are losers who can't function in civilian society.

Pro-war zealots will not like the fact that the troops are not shown to be super-patriotic he-men, but imperfect young men barely out of adolescence who find their job all too daunting, implying that this war has been planned poorly up to this point. Anti-war activists will not like that the movie clearly shows that these young men are the only thing keeping Iraq from total chaos, implying that an artificial timetable for bringing troops home will lead to disaster.

I think that it is criminal that this film has not yet gone into wide release. If I had my way, every American--especially those fair-weather patriots who say they support the war, but who do not serve in the military and/or will not allow their children to enlist--would be made to see this film. It might make everyone think twice before giving easy answers to the war.


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