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March 23, 2009

JD Johannes presents "Baghdad Happens"

JD has done a number of serious, sober documentaries on the war in Iraq, notably his Outside the Wire series. Baghdad Happens is not one of them.

That is not to say it is not well done or professional, it is just not your run of the mill war doc. Matter of fact in discussing his methodology JD said of the creative process. "I just thought what would PBS do, and then did the opposite". While Ken Burns might be appalled, you will be entertained. From the second the funk-a-fied background music kicks in, to your first glimpse of JD sitting at a bar, burning a cigarette, wearing mirrored shades and a fly suit any gangsta pimp would kill for, you know this will be no ordinary ride.

The title alludes to the fog of war and Murphy's law of combat stating no plan survives initial contact. In this case a simple trip to scarf up an insurgent leader gets derailed when Baghdad Happens in the form of a giant pool of raw sewage blocking the path. Contingencies are put into play, gut calls are made and the adventure begins. In the course of an afternoon they rescue a hostage who they fortuitously run across, engage in a gunfight with Shia militia men, and watchful eyes even yield the fat guy with a broken arm. Just like they drew it up. Baghdad Happens baby.

Don't let the irreverent tone fool you though. This film shows exactly how agile in mind and body our troops have to be in order to get through the Baghdad and make their mission Happen. So order your copy now and when it arrives, gather a few friends, crack a cold one and slap this latest treat in your DVD player. It will take you along for a look at how the best laid plans can't account for pools of sewage, so you just make your own luck.

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posted by Uncle Jimbo at 09:32 AM

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