23rd Annual Minneapolis - St. Paul International Film Festival

Occupation Dreamland (Non-fiction Features)
2005 - USA - 78 min.

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DIRECTOR: Garrett Scott, Ian Olds

A film for those who think that embedded journalism never yields results. The filmmakers follow a simple squad of soldiers in Iraq. To be precise: unit 24/7 of the 82nd Airborn Division. They traveled with the soldiers when they were stationed near Falluja, even before Falluja became one of the grimmest hotbeds of the war. The soldiers operated from their camp that was christened Dreamland; they regularly went into Falluja in order to maintain order, even if they had no idea of the city, its inhabitants, the language, culture or religion. They may not be the smartest, but they are ordinary guys. Now they are in the sandpit around Falluja twiddling their thumbs and spewing their gall to the camera. No, it's not a propaganda film. And Occupation: Dreamland does not have the tiresome message of many anti-war films. It provides a sober picture of the situation and that turns out to be effective. In view of the circumstances, the film was shot with remarkable suppleness and self-assurance. When things really started getting exciting around Falluja, the simple soldiers were taken away and a better-oiled war machine was deployed. Uncensored footage gives an intimate picture of confused, angry and scared young men struggling to comprehend Iraqi culture and customs. AM Garret Scott is a writer and filmmaker who was featured prominently by Filmmaker Magazine as one of the “20 new faces to watch” in 2002. His directorial debut Cul de Sac: A Suburban War Story also screened at numerous other festivals. Ian Olds is the editor and co-writer of Cul de Sac: A Suburban War Story, which premiered at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival. His is also the director of the short film Two Men.

PRODUCER: Garrett Scott, Selina Lewis-Davidson, Nancy Roth
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ian Olds, Garrett Scott
EDITOR: Ian Olds
PRINT SOURCE: Greenhouse Pictures

Tuesday, April 12 7:45pm 6
Wednesday, April 13 9:30pm Lagoon Cinema