Synopsis by Mark Deming
In early 2004, filmmakers Ian Olds and Garrett Scott traveled to the Iraqi city of Fallujah and spent several months with the men of the United States Army's 82nd Airborne Division as they patrolled the community and attempted to ferret out supporters of the nation's previous regime. As the weeks wore on, Olds and Scott found that a number of the soldiers whom they were "embedded" with were having serious doubts about their mission; while many were still firmly committed to the U.S. military effort, others began wondering out loud what purpose their presence served and if they were accomplishing any good at all. The American soldiers were also uneasy with their status as peacekeepers when they were trained to be warriors, a point that became moot when tensions in Fallujah erupted into violence over a year after "major combat operations" had supposedly come to an end in Iraq. Occupation: Dreamland is a documentary drawn from the footage Olds and Scott shot while in Iraq, and attempts to paint a picture of the larger conflict in Iraq as well as the lives of the men who serve there. The film received its North American premiere at the 2005 South by Southwest Film Festival.
army, behind-the-scenes, city, conflict, confusion, Iraq, military-campaign, occupation [military], squadron, war