The Hurt Locker (2009)
As I watched this powerful drama about a bomb squad set in Iraq 2004, I kept wishing that someone could strap Bush and Cheney into some seats and make them watch what their pre-emptive war does to human beings. The basic drama (it's not a documentary) follows three members of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, whose specialization is to find and defuse the infamous "improvised explosive devices." They find these devices under piles of trash, in human bodies, in the trunk of a car, and in the Green Zone. But there's a larger drama at work here, as we watch how three very different soldiers cope in very different ways with this job, and what it does to each of their psyches. In this sense, the film is far more personal than political. The film does an especially good job of showing how difficult it is in Iraq to distinguish between friend and foe. The Iraqis watching the soldiers from their balconies and minarets feel as ominous as the bombs themselves. The Hurt Locker was filmed mainly in Jordan and has received uniformly rave reviews.