Operation: Dreamland

   26 April 2005, early morning

HotDocs, Toronto’s documentary film festival has been underway for a few days. I watched two films on Monday, the first being Operation: Dreamland. The movie focuses on the lives of a squad of US soldiers stationed in Fallujah, just before that city went to hell. Shima and Riadh, who I watched the film with, were unimpressed, but I thought it was done well. Though the film-makers were both against the war, the movie itself comes off as quite apolitical. The film’s focus is always on the soldiers themselves, and it doesn’t try to push any political message. The soldiers are an interesting group, some quite bright, others not so much. They surprise you: one soldier, a high-school drop out, argues quite sharply about why they are in Iraq in his opinion (to make money for people like Cheney). There is a lot of cynicism, but at the same time a lot of patriotism. One of the soldiers, very vocal in his criticism of the army, challenges anyone to call him unpatriotic (he is after all getting shot at each and everyday). And I guess that is what it takes to be in the army, a willingness to put aside introspection (at least till you’ve done what is required of you). Gunner Palace is the film about soldiers in Iraq that is getting all the hype at the moment, but I think Operation: Dreamland is well worth a look.

Information about Operation: Dreamland at the HotDocs web site.



  1. Please provide me with info for the college (Santa Rosa Junior College) to obtain public performance rights to show this film sometime this semester on campus. Also, if applicable, please give me rental information as well.

    Thank you.

  2. Sorry, but did I say something in my post that would make you think I know how to answer either of your questions? It is a shame the film doesn’t have a web site. (Or if it does, that it isn’t listed higher on Google than my site.) Good luck trying to find out how to watch the film. I would recommend you get in touch with the people who run Hotdocs.

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