After the brilliant American take on the Iraq war with Generation Kill, I was intrigued to see what the British take would be, in this much shorter, 3 part mini-series. It would be unfair to try and compare the two as they has wildly different approaches, though very similar messages. Occupation takes a look at three friends and their reasons for returning to Iraq – namely Basra – and is set predominately in the Occupation where as Generation Kill follows a platoon of 23 marines as they get the word to enter Iraq at the onset of war.
Occupation’s narrow focus on just three guys, Danny, Mike and Hibbs, who are all friends in the same army regiment makes the whole experience more personal, and in all likely hood the viewer will relate to one character and decide that they are the ‘good’ person, where as in reality none of them are either bad or good, they just have different reasons for going back, for their out look on life.
Occupation spreads itself out over the three episodes, ambling along at the pace you’d expect from a BBC drama. It has moments of action, some very black humour, and a lot of emotion. Ultimately it’s a political statement, saying on the one hand that war is wrong, whilst at the same time saying that we shouldn’t blame the soldiers. On the other hand it’s saying that everything is FUBAR and conflict is just the catalyst for bringing out our true character. In this it’s a brilliant human drama, showing the effects of sending men into battle. It’s this that will have you thinking about it days after you’ve watched the final episode.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Release date: May 5th, 2010
Stars: James Nesbitt, Stephen Graham, Warren Brown
Length (Minutes): 154
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Supported Audio: Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
Director: Murphy, Nick