“They could have come from anywhere, but they came from Oregon” the narrator tells us. This Is War follows the lives of some National Guardsmen deployed to Iraq. Much of the footage actually comes from their own camcorders. And it is not a pretty sight, of the nine featured, two are very seriously wounded, and several of the others suffer one battle wound or another.

Barely of legal drinking age, but old enough to die or get maimed, these kids are deployed firstly to Kuwait, where they meet the harsh reality of war. The equipment is substandard, the vehicles, Humvee’s are little more than wooden coffins. The first order of business is to improvise some amour, sand bags, metal plates, whatever they can find to afford some protection.

Their next mission is to make the journey to Baghdad. This in itself is perilous faced with insurgents and fire fights along the way the true magnitude if Iraq comes crashing down on them.

Iraq is way more complex than what we in the west appreciate. There are many divergent forces at work. This Is War is a very stark, and very disturbing look at the War in Iraq. Maybe if more people watched it there would be a larger effort to get our kids out of the place. There is danger everywhere, who is friend and who is foe? This documentary does not explore the politics, only the reality, and the reality is not something I would want my son or daughter involved in.

This is absolutely must see material. My wife’s son spent almost two years in Iraq, she watched This Is War, and just cried her way through it.

This Is War is must see, and you can get your copy from MVD.

Simon Barrett


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