An insightful, eye-opening account of the preparations soldiers had to make for their service in Iraq, this 2008 film portrays life inside the U.S. Army's elaborate Iraq simulation village in California's Mojave Desert. It received a Special Jury award at the SXSW Film Festival.
"The filmmakers follow an Army battalion … as it tries to bring a semblance of order and stability to a fractious Iraqi town menaced by violence. The soldiers must adjudicate disputes between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, prop up the local authorities and fight off insurgents, who are hidden in plain sight in the middle of town and carry out roadside bomb and rocket attacks at the worst possible moments."—NYTimes
"Fascinating, surreal but profoundly humane."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch