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Why Iraq war films fail

Despite the Oscar success of the Hurt Locker, Iraq films do badly at the box office—and anyone who's been there knows they're inaccurate. What would it take to give Iraq its Apocalypse Now?

By Tom Streithorst   March 2010

A US army private based deep in the Sunni “triangle of death” south of Baghdad put it piquantly to me in May 2007: “We’re a reality show everybody’s bored of.” The soldiers know that nobody cares. According to minute-by-minute television ratings, viewers switch off as soon as an Iraq story hits air. When Siegfried Sassoon wrote his poems, and when Erich Remarque wrote All Quiet on the Western Front, much of their audience had lived through the same hell. During both the world wars, the entire nation was involved, and the experience of the soldiers was an intrinsic part of…

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