As written in an earlier post, I've been to Holland last week to promote the movie The Hunting Party. Well, the movie premieres today in Holland (so move your ass to the cinema in case you're in the Netherlands, it stars Richard Gere!!!).
In Amsterdam, many people asked me: "How close is the movie to reality?"
Well, go to the cinema and compare it with the story of Scott Anderson (see link at bottom of article)
But, I guess, what many people actually meant was this: Hollywood movies about war reporters are all about danger and excitement...is that true?
I only can speak for myself of course, but here is some stuff I shot on my highly professional, 300 US dollar, video camera while in Iraq. I've never published this material before. So although it is 'old' (2004 and 2005), it is new and gives a rather good idea of what sometimes happens when you are in a war (and happen to have your camera rolling...).
The footage is pretty dramatic and sad. Before watching, please read the text below the clip so you understand the context. The five or so minutes you'll see are exactly the way I filmed it. I did not edit any of this stuff.
(for some kind of reason, the clips load badly. Currently the second clip works. No idea why this trouble).
Short explanation of the first video: I'm in Baghdad, 11-11-2005, with US troops. It's night. soldiers have raided some kind of compound to look for possible car bombs. Main road in front of compound is sealed off. Clip starts when a car drives through the checkpoint. You'll hear four gunshots (off camera, US soldiers giving the driver warning shots), driver doesn't stop and drives towards the compound, where I'm standing. Now you'll see two car lights appearing in the dark. US tank fires at car. What follows is some panic inside the compound. After about one minute, I run to the main street and approach the car with one survivor (driver, with hands up) and one person(on passenger seat) who dies on the spot. Btw; As it turned out, there was absolutely no bomb in the car. It is also absolutely unclear why the Iraqi driver ran the checkpoint and ignored the warning shots.
Short explanation of the second video, above: Baghdad, election day (2004). Clip starts when wounded Iraqi man approaches US troops for help while I run to his wounded brother and sister in the car. While assisting the wounded man, the US soldiers get mortared by Al Qaeda militants. Soldiers run to vehicles for cover.
Scott Anderson's story about the real Hunting Party: here