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Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories


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$9.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Shidog Films
  • DVD Release Date: October 22, 2007
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000XPXT3C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,879 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Mike Shiley, an adventure traveler and filmmaker decided to go to Iraq by himself to see what was really going on. Shiley, who previously spent a year in the Middle East, was upset with the way the media and the government focused on car bombs and press conferences. Shiley, with no media experience or political bent: *Struck a deal with his local ABC affiliate station in Portland, OR to go to Iraq as a freelance journalist. *Made a press pass at Kinko's *Rented a used bulletproof vest *Cashed in frequent flyer miles *Traveled unarmed through Iraq for two months *After a 90-minute training, he joined a tank unit and helped patrol the Syrian border, where the unit engaged in a live fire operation *For his effort, he was awarded a civilian combat award by the Colonel of the 3rd ACR in Iraq (Ft. Carson, Colorado Springs) Shiley produced a very balanced 84-minute documentary film, called Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories.

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Customer Reviews

The images are amazing.
Dr. Pat B.
Also liked the fact that he took us into the heartland of Iraq.
Amazon Customer
We should not pretend he is not biased, though.
R. Quinn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Quinn on June 21, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Congratulations to Mike for bringing this effort to fruition. It can't have been easy. The places he goes and the way he goes to them are truly extraordinary. Anyone who has been to Iraq knows that the footage he has shot is very true to life in terms of the small village scenes, the way Iraqis communicate very well in english, even when limited by vocabulary, etc...

I'm curious what qualifies the film as "unbiased". It is not. It is biased as all films are -- one way or the other. Certainly there are degrees. For as rare as the footage that he has captured is, his anti-Bush perspective (including trying to coax a Bush-adoring Kurd to reconsider her opinion, or accidentally say something negative through mis-translation) is a small price to pay for those images. We should not pretend he is not biased, though.

The narration is simplistic and heavy-handed, but also gives the piece a fresh feel.

I can tell you from watching projects like this get filmed and troops get interviewed, the most inflammatory moments in the documentary (soldier rants, tank crushing a car, nighttime harrassment fires) are surely the most inflammatory he shot. They are terrible, and embarrassing for our nation, but they are not 'mainstream'. He likely shot hundreds or thousands of hours of video, and chose his cuts selectively. That is certainly his prerogative for the risks he endured.

Overall, this is a valuable addition to the Iraq body of work, but not an unbiased one. This is the most footage that I have found in one place that gives an accurate view of the typical moments in Iraqi life. After watching it, everyone will think more clearly and act more purposefully the next time a war debate comes up, as it will.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Wendy S on August 29, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Mike Shiley is an adventure traveler and all around life enthusiast that has turned his passion into his life's work and mission - and that is obvious from the moment this film starts.

In Sept 2003 he got a flack jacket, faked a press pass, and against the advise of just about everyone he knew, hopped a plane to Iraq. From the moment he arrives he's in danger. Yet alone with only his camera and the essentials, he prevails and makes friends everywhere he goes.

He spent many months making his way through the country, talking with people, hearing their stories, and filming it all. He spent time with civilians, the Iraqi military and the US Military. Everywhere he went, he got gripping footage, opinions, and a slice of life as people saw it. It was extremely real and very sad. The outcome is AMAZING.

Places and people are shown as they are - it is the first footage I've seen where I could actually begin to comprehend how life has changed since the war began and see what impact its had on the people.

Above all, this film is about people. He did not politicize or show a skewed version of things. Just the facts - and in many ways these facts speak volumes that no mainstream media, military personnel, local Iraqi or political analyst could ever match alone.

I recommend it VERY HIGHLY. Buy it now if you want to see what is really happening in Iraq.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Y. Karl on April 15, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Mike Shiley's film is a rich account made by a corageous US citizen, posing some of the best questions to date about the utility of lethal force and how to achieve the strategic aims in Iraq. This film puts most of US network war reporting to shame, and beats all of it hands down.

This should be required viewing in military academies and colleges.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Shiley on December 20, 2005
Format: DVD
Below are media and university reviews for Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories.

MEDIA REVIEWS

Those who are strongly for or against the Iraq war won't find their positions unequivocally supported by this film. Which is what makes it worth seeing.

The Portland Tribune

Shiley's film is an incredible guided tour of the Iraq that has yet to be adequately portrayed in mainstream American media. The result is an emotionally complex film that provides perspective on a complex reality that the government has worked to simplify, and the media has done little to clarify.

Willamette Week (Portland, OR)-Movie Review

It's a journey worth taking, but better him than you. He poked into things that journalists and others don't usually stop to examine, and he emerged with a highly personal travelogue that sheds a light on a complex and volatile situation.

The Oregonian Living Section

Shiley deserves credit for going to Iraq twice by himself (both times for a month) and trying to get stories he believes are worth showing.

San Francisco Chronicle

Shiley captures quite a lot of intriguing footage - and makes an important point about just how out of control the situation in Iraq has gotten..."

San Francisco Bay Guardian

What an amazing, powerful film and presentation. In essence, you provided us with a comprehensive behind the scenes tour, no snap-shot news reports, no "approved" footage, no political speak press conferences, just the simple and unfortunate reality that for everyone involved war is hell..
Read more ›
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