Baghdad ER

Baghdad ER is a documentary that follows the medical men and women working in Iraq's Green Zone in the summer months of 2005. How one reacts to this documentary probably depends on one's own take on the war. The filmmakers remain mostly nuetral, neither pro- nor anti-war, capturing both the heroism and the horrors of day-to-day life for the doctors and nurses. Destroyed limbs, near-misses, prayers, and difficult decisions make up the SOP for these folks. In the "safe area" even downtime is punctuated by bomb blasts; and a "good" day is a day that no one dies. It is hard to watch, but Americans need to see it. If we are going to have a TV war, we should at least see behind the flag waving. I always wonder whether these sorts of images make us sit up and take notice, or whether they inure us to the real horrors. We are a passive, TV-watching culture, after all; reality TV is just normal TV for us these days. But hopefully we're not quite so jaded that Baghdad ER can't have more impact than Mommy Swap. Kudos to HBO for airing this film. And jeers to network TV for keeping these images from us.