Baghdad ER - An HBO Documentary Film
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Baghdad ER (DVD)
HBO's unflinching Baghdad ER makes programs like Grey's Anatomy and House look like kiddie cartoons. Directed by Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill, the fly-on-the wall documentary tracks the days and nights of the 86th Combat Support Hospital. Located in Baghdad's Green Zone, the CSH is the Armys premier medical facility in Iraq. It's a busy place. Most of the injuries--almost 18,000 from 2003-2005--are due to IEDs (improvised explosive devices). Patients with minor problems are patched up and sent on their way. More severe cases are medevaced to Germany or the States. Still others won't make it. Then there are those who lose limbs. It isn't an uncommon occurrence, and the film features discomfiting moments concerning those individuals (the sequences may be brief, but they're undeniably disturbing). But all is not trauma and tears. Alpert and O'Neill also catch the hard-working staff during rare moments of levity: playing the saxophone, smoking cigars, and telling bad jokes. As Captain Merritt Pember accedes, "There's a lot of stuff we laugh about and probably shouldn't--it helps keep us sane." According to the introductory text, "Ninety percent of American soldiers wounded in Iraq survive. This is the highest rate of war survivors in US History." Baghdad ER brings that impressive statistic to indelible life. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Top customer reviews
limbs, saving and losing lives. Emotional and honest, without
narration, we get a sense of the humanity, fragility and bravery of all
involved. In some ways this is a more effective anti-war film than any
'statement' film, because it shows the horrors and losses of war
without politicization or preaching, or denigrating the heroism of the
men and women laying their lives on their line for their country.
Most recent customer reviews
tough to watch it,Don't like to see our boys getting killed and wounded