"Bad Voodoo's War" – Airs April 1st on PBS

March 30th, 2008 by xformed

“Bad Voodoo’s War,” a film filmed by the soldiers about their deployment to Iraq, is the second of this type of work that I’m aware of. The first one was “The War Tapes,” also a project by Debra Scranton.

I have been privileged enough to be one to see the sneak preview of “The War Tapes,” and meet the soldiers who were the subject of that movie, I later met Debra and her team of “The War Tapes” at the 2006 MilBlogging Conference. Add to the fact that JP Borda, a blogger and creator of the MilBlogging.com” website, is the soldier leading the way for this movie, I suspect this will be a significant piece of history, with a view that is most often avoided by the MSM.

To get a feel for her vision, and insight, watch a talk by her in 2007.

The Zombie Diaries film

download The Breakfast Club

She’s on to something “telling the story from the inside out.” It’s 17:48 minutes of your time worth taking, (I just did), not just for the philosphy she has, but also for the end with a powerful challenge to the “I support the troops, but not the war” people.

Set your Tivos/DVRs up for the broadcast on 4/1/2008 on PBS, or be ready to sit down and enjoy it as it’s broadcast.

Press Release:

press release

FRONTLINE presents
BAD VOODOO’S WAR
Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS

“Here we are. It’s about 2:30 in the morning on the 2nd of October. We have been on the road for a while. … Wasn’t too excited to get this change of mission. The stretch of road between Anaconda and Speicher, known as IED Alley, it’s probably one of the worst stretches of road in theater.”
-Sfc. Toby Nunn, during his second Iraq deployment, to his personal mini-DV camera

FRONTLINE goes to war in Iraq with a band of California-based National Guard soldiers who call themselves the “Bad Voodoo Platoon” to tell their very personal story in Bad Voodoo’s War, airing Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at 9 P.M. ET (check local listings). To record their war, from private reflections to real-time footage of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks on the ground, director Deborah Scranton (The War Tapes) creates a “virtual embed,” supplying cameras to the soldiers of the Bad Voodoo Platoon and working with them to shape an intimate portrait that reveals the hard grind of their war. Says Scranton: “What compels me is telling a story from the inside out, to crawl inside their world with them to see what it looks like, feels like and smells like. It’s really important to give soldiers the chance to press their own record button on this war.”

Through their daily experiences, acting platoon leader Sgt. 1st Class Toby Nunn, originally from British Columbia and the father of three, and Spc. Jason Shaw, a 23-year-old from Texas, give us a firsthand look at the impact of the U.S. military’s policy of multiple deployments to Iraq and how the Army’s role has changed on the ground.

Spc. Shaw is on his third deployment to Iraq. After the invasion in 2003, he was awarded the Silver Star for valor during the battle for the Baghdad airport. Shaw volunteered for his third tour in Iraq, but is haunted by the loss of so many comrades during his earlier deployments. “I’ve had six of my good friends die,” he explains. “When I lost all of my buddies, I just kind of lost hope. I used to be religious. My last deployment totally made me think otherwise. You know, you pray all the time to keep everybody safe, and then something happens.”

Sfc. Nunn, responsible for the safety of the 30 men in his platoon, worries endlessly about their welfare. “I’m worried about my guys,” he confides to the camera one night. “Right now I’m out here talking to you while they’re inside sleeping because I can’t sleep. Can’t rest, you know.”

Many of his men, highly trained veteran combat infantrymen, are deeply frustrated by their primary mission: providing security for convoys transporting supplies throughout Iraq to fuel President Bush’s surge. “A lot of our guys don’t like this mission,” says Nunn. “We’re used to kicking in doors, taking the fight to the enemy. Now you’re driving on the road for hours and hours and hours and days, waiting to get blown up and not allowed to fight back.”

The platoon is also struggling with a new relationship with the Iraqi security forces, whom the Americans depend on for their own safety. Nunn reflects: “I told myself last time I wanted to train the Iraqis the best I possibly could, because it was my ticket home. … But here I am, three years later, saying, ‘Will the Iraqi security forces enforce anything out there?’ Every time I talk to these guys, you know, my trust meter isn’t reading in the green all the time.” This constant second-guessing, combined with the relentless monotony of the desert highway, the fear of deadly IEDs and the memories of lost friends, keep the soldiers in an unending state of anxiety. This is Bad Voodoo’s war.

Bad Voodoo’s War is a Clover & A Bee Films production for FRONTLINE and Independent Television Service (ITVS). The writer, producer and director is Deborah Scranton. FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. FRONTLINE is closed-captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers and described for people who are blind or visually impaired by the Media Access Group at WGBH. FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of WGBH Educational Foundation. The executive producer for ITVS is Sally Jo Fifer. The FRONTLINE executive producer for special projects is Michael Sullivan. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is David Fanning.

pbs.org/pressroom
Promotional photography can be downloaded from the PBS pressroom.

Press contacts
Diane Buxton
(617) 300-5375
diane_buxton@wgbh.org

Alissa Rooney
(617) 300-5314
alissa_rooney@wgbh.org

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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 30th, 2008 at 2:35 pm and is filed under Military. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 response about “"Bad Voodoo's War" – Airs April 1st on PBS”

  1. Deborah Scranton said:

    Thanks for the shout out, and for helping us to amplify the voices of the brave men of BAD VOODOO……this was/is their experience.

    Deborah Scranton
    Director
    BAD VOODOO’S WAR

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