Paul Greengrass has a knack for following up his Hollywood entertainments, like The Bourne franchise, with emotionally moving and political affair. His current project Green Zone is no different.
Based upon the book, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the movie recounts the early days of the Iraqi War. The book is, according to my friend Zack who is currently serving in Afghanistan and has also served in Iraq, one of the few must read books about this war.
Greengrass and actor Matt Damon are going the authentic route with this one. They’ve hired actual US soldiers who served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan to star in the movie. I don’t think this one will be any easier to watch than United 93 was.
From Publishers Weekly:
As the Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post, Chandrasekaran has probably spent more time in U.S.-occupied Iraq than any other American journalist, and his intimate perspective permeates this history of the Coalition Provisional Authority headquartered in the Green Zone around Saddam Hussein’s former palace. He presents the tenure of presidential viceroy L. Paul Bremer between May 2003 and June 2004 as an all-too-avoidable disaster, in which an occupational administration selected primarily for its loyalty to the Bush administration routinely ignored the reality of local conditions until, as one ex-staffer puts it, “everything blew up in our faces.” Chandrasekaran unstintingly depicts the stubborn cluelessness of many Americans in the Green Zone?like the army general who says children terrified by nighttime helicopters should appreciate “the sound of freedom.” But he sympathetically portrays others trying their best to cut through the red tape and institute genuine reforms. He also has a sharp eye for details, from casual sex in abandoned offices to stray cats adopted by staffers, which enable both advocates and critics of the occupation to understand the emotional toll of its circus-like atmosphere. Thanks to these personal touches, the account of the CPA’s failures never feels heavy-handed.