Night vision sequence, infantrymen entering suspected militant’s house in the middle of the night. Men lined up on stomachs.

SOLDIER: Lay the f*** down!

SOLDIER: Lay the f***own! Lay the f*** down!

It's two in the morning. American soldiers are searching for a local resistance leader.
Rooting out the remaining resistance in Iraq is a messy business.

Every night more Iraqi families come face to face with american force. Every night there's more distress..

1ST SOLDIER: What's your name?

1st DETAINEE (lying on stomach on terrace): Adnan.

1ST SOLDIER: What's your name?

2ND DETAINEE: Deish Adnan.

1st SOLDIER: What’s your name?

2ND SOLDIER:: His name is Ahmed. I don't know if we need it...


The man in the balaclava is a local informant.

A Company 1- 8 Brigade
(talking about informant)

We took him as prisoner held him for about 3 or 4 days. And a lot of the times we use those guys to show us different houses where members of their terrorist cell or whatever cell they are operating with
where they live so, just use as leverage against them with the hope that we let out of jail earlier, whatever the case may be, similar to what the police do back in the states. It works out pretty well.

(Women wheeping)

MARTIN ADLER (out of vision):

You don't think it's a risk going into people's houses like that, that it might make them more scared of you and sort of more, you know, anti-American?

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: (pause) Not really.

It turned out the men arrested are not resistance fighters at all. They're just cousins of the man the soldiers were looking for. But they were bound hooded and taken away...all the same..

A wife asks the soldiers to let her husband at least take his shoes..

WOMAN (holding shoes): Mr! Shoes!
SOLDIER (out of vision): What’s that?

(Fade to black)


On Highway One, daylight sequence

I spent ten days with Charlie Company - these men are all professional soldiers and have been in Iraq since April. Their job is making Highway One safe - it's become the most dangerous road in the world. It links Baghdad to Tikrit.

Today the soldiers are dealing with the now familiar problem of a road-side booby trap bomb...

SOLDIER: Yep, it's a bomb.

MARTIN ADLER (out of vision):
It's a live bomb?

Yep, it's a live bomb, it's a f****** bomb, and he's pulling it....
…will you please let Mum and Dad know that I love them…

Incredibly, the captain of the company picks up the live bomb and carries it to a 'safe' place to be exploded.



(Fade to black)


Isaki Police Station

CAPT. KARL PFUETZE (talking to Isaki police chief outside police station) sot:

He comes to work or he's fired. I'll talk to him.

This is the man who picked up that bomb. Meet Capt. Karl Pfuetze, commander of Charlie Company. He's partial to the odd cigar, and now finds himself as de facto governor of the area.

Today he's having a meeting with the newly recruited Iraqi police force in the area. The body language is revealing.

The Iraqi policemen are complaining that too many of their colleagues have been killed recently.


You're correct.
Tell Mohammed I want to see him tomorrow morning. Okay? Tell Mohammed I want to see him tomorrow morning. I want to see you. I want to see Mohammed. He, you and me, we need to sit down tomorrow morning and we need to iron this out.

I love the Iraqi way of firing weapons in the air.We love it.

We're pretty sure this is probably going to end up with about a dozen dead Iraqis before we get out of here. Because, you know what, I see an Iraqi with a weapon outside and I just shoot him. Okay, we're not playing this. "Oh, I think he's playing celebratory fire." There's no such thing as celebratory fire. There's enemy fire and there's return fire. That's what it is. So, anyway, they don't ... they don't get it. So I think we've already killed like, what, like two or three of them? They don't get it. They're just going to keep doing it. You think with when they heard my Bradley coming, they'd be smart enough for like the next half hour to not shoot in the air. But, no.
I love this place! This place is great!

(fade to black)


Reconnaisance mission to Samarra

1st SGT GHALEB MIKEL (standing next to Humvee):

We're here. We're not leaving for a while. Come pay us a visit!
( mortar explodes in background )

1st SGT MIKEL (out of vision, soldiers running):
Hey, get back in the vehicles! Get back in the vehicles!

Mortar attack: The soldiers scramble into their vehicles and charge into Samarra in search of the man who fired at them.

1ST SGT MIKEL (out of vision): Okay, start it up! Start it up!

This man was found loitering near what was believed to be the mortar launch site.

Soldiers manhandle suspect, attempt to push him onto the ground, scuffle. More soldiers come to help. Soldiers finally wrestle detainee to ground.

1st SOLDIER: Sit down. Put your hands on your back!

1st SOLDIER:No! Get down! Get down!

1st SOLDIER: Down!

Call security, call f****** security!

DETAINEE ( in Arabic): I had nothing to do with it!

Get down! Sit down! (Speaking Arabic) (indistinct conversation )

Get down! Get down! (Indistinct conversation)

First Sergeant Mikel can speak Arabic. He can cross the language divide that hampers so many of the missions in Iraq. But his Arabic isn't winning many hearts and minds...

1st SGT MIKEL (walking towards detainee, pointing gun at him) :
Give them your hands! ( translated from Arabic):

DETAINEE (Translated):
I swear I had nothing to do with it!

1st SGT MIKEL (Translated):
Give them your hands! If you don't, I swear I will shoot you!

1st SGT MIKEL (Translated):
We'll take you over there and shoot you in the head! Do you understand me?

SOLDIER: Give me those flexicuffs.

The suspect, bound and hooded, was left in a waste ground for hours before being taken away into detention.

(Fade to black)


Charlie Company HQ

Back at the base – ’The Rock’ - as the men call it, it's all about camraderie…

SOLDIER (training sequence, laughing): It’s all in the hips, it’s all in the hips!

…and the overwhelming conviction that their cause is just.


Whether you know other people, other Americans, believe its right or wrong it's irrelevant to us. It’s not our job to question the commander in chief, the boss. President Bush said go and we'll cut out own throats for President Bush – that’s the bottom line.

For others with their own children, the routine of raiding Iraqi homes is wearing them down.

Mission comes first. We go in the house and we go in and we know there's a high value target there and there's women and children around. We try to do the safest, easiest extraction that we can so no one gets hurt. We try not to think about well, what if this goes wrong? And, you know, something happens and there's women and children. We try not to think like that.

Corporal Turpin hasn't seen his own family since July last.

(Corporal Turpin playing guitar, singing)

(Fade to black)


(talking in front of Samarra map)

My job is to go in, find the bad guys and kill them. I'm trained for that. They want to see a burning Bradley downtown. That's what they want. They want them jumping up and down, saying, you know, "God is with us. Allah akbar, God is great" on Al Jazeera TV. And they hunt you. They hunt you. They used to say they would park at this southern OP ... and the average time for the first incoming RPG was 120 seconds.

Campfire sequence

The campfire has become a place of reflection for the men. PFC Little has reservations about his time in Iraq.



It's not every day that you can live in a movie. It's a unique job, you know. But I mean I wouldn't want to do this again. You know, being ... being overseas deployed to Iraq, you know, fighting a war and all kinds of stuff like that. My country called me; I came out here, I'm doing the job, you know, doing it to the best to my ability. But it's not something I want to do again. I would do it again if my country asked me to, but I don't want to do it again.

When on leave recently, Little went to a shopping mall with his wife.


I started to realize that, hey, you know, I'm looking at all the exits as I'm walking by. I'm seeing what every person has in their hands. And it's, you know, they're 50 meters away from me. I'm like looking at every store while I'm walking down here. Now I wasn't even trying to do it.
It was like, you know, second nature. It was just coming. And I felt naked. I didn't have any weapons. I didn't have any gear. I didn't have my squad with me. And I seriously felt naked. I was like, "oh, my God, you know, what the hell is going on? This is not cool."
… I'm a little bit scared that it's going to be like this throughout the rest of my life I think.

(fade to black)


Night raid in Samarra

(Initially night vision then shift to normal vision)

SOLDIER (after having attempted to kick in gate):

Hej, call two for breach! Call two for breach!

Another night, another raid in Samarra.

Bradley drives up, breaching compound wall. Soldiers rushing through breach into compound.

SOLDIER (entering house): Friendly!

"You're all occupiers," the woman cries, as the soldiers burst into her home. ( Crying )

SOLDIER: Let’s go, let’s go!

SOLDIER: Let's start going through everything.

As dawn breaks, the soldiers and their prisoners are back at their camp.

Detainees, hooded, being paraded in front of base. Soldiers snapping photographs of each other next to detainees.

For the Charlie Company it was a successful night's work. A few of the soldiers pause to take photo souvenirs.
© 2019 Journeyman Pictures
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