Generation Kill (2008)
Director: Susanna White, Simon Cellan Jones
Actors: Alexander Skarsgård, James Ransone, Lee Tergesen, Jon Huertas, Stark Sands, Billy Lush
Runtime: 7 x 67 min
This mini-series about the invasion of Iraq in 2003, which consists of seven one-hour episodes, is based on the book by a journalist Evan Wright, about his experiences as an embedded reporter with the United States Marine Corps’ 1st Reconnaissance Battalion.
The primary production value aspired to was authenticity – and, indeed, before us we have a very realistic view of the war in Iraq from the perspective of American soldiers on the ground, who are both aware of their position and unaware of the wider context. “Generation Kill” is distinguished by the kind of realism that strips entire war to the marrow – ideology of war, brutal logic of war, people in war, and, in an extraordinary manner it shows the relationships which are develop in it, from ever-present soldier’s racism directed towards the local population, to the inevitable officers’ manipulation and careerism.
Generation Kill shows particularly well a specific combination of reason and insanity in each of the characters. This is expressed at all levels, from ordinary soldier to the battalion commander, a colonel which is simultaneously the focal point of madness, but also the ratio of the war – the one that interprets the orders of his superiors to his subordinates and reproduces the ideological matrix that fuses reason and madness, which enables coexisting blindness of critical mind and sharpness of the senses, which is essential in order to for the war itself to be possible, in the way and form it occurred.
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