Journal Everything I did that nobody wanted…


Incident in New Baghdad: From Wikileaks to the big screen


It seemed inevitable, after the outburst of information that came to light with the creation of the platform Wikileaks, along with its continuous upload to the internet of hundreds of thousands of classified documents and “secret information”, that someone would use it to create a major feature film or something similar.

And that was the idea of director James Spione. On april 24th, and within the frame of the Tribeca Film Festival 2011, the documentary “Incident in New Baghdad” premiered. The documentary is based on the released video of an American helicopter attacking a street full of civilians in a suburb in Baghdad on July 12th, 2007.

“I saw the video of the helicopter and I was shocked”, explains Spione, who denounces the small repercussion that the footage, and all Wikileaks files in general, has had on the US media coverage.

“But what shocked even more was that, after it all came to light, no one wanted to talk to the soldiers”, adds the director “I mean, they were there, you just needed to ask. But no one interviewed them”.

Spione saw on the incident a story that was worth being told. And that’s how he contacted Ethan McCord. “I just needed to ask. If me, an individual, had no problem finding Ethan; for sure the media could have done so. But they just didn’t”.

Ethan McCord is a veteran of the Iraq War, and he was at the scene when the events happened. After Iraq, he became a peace activist, participating in events and conferences. When contacted by Spione, he agreed to participate in the documentary, where he has a leading role.

“You know, when you go to war… Well, you think about those images in movies, you have probably romanticized everything, and you expect to arrive and find women throwing you flowers and cheering. When I got there, people where throwing us rocks and shouting at us. There was something wrong”. Explains McCord.

For him, the attack was a major moment. “I had to take the kids out of the van… At first we thought they were all dead; and well, we weren’t completely wrong. And they were kids”. As he says, it wasn’t an isolated event, but it made him realize that it wasn’t what or how he expected things to be. Upon return from Iraq, McCord has been suffering from severe post traumatic stress disorder.

“When James contacted me (for the documentary), I had no doubts. I said ‘Let’s do it’”.

For Spione, this 23 minute documentary is just the first step in turning it into a major feature movie. “I just think it’s a story worth to be told, and I can’t still believe that no one has shown any interest in it."

Comments (1) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Alex Gibney clearly rzeogniecs the hilarity and challenge of his effort as it takes place simultaneously to othera0WikiLeaks movie and film projects. Branding himself a more dishevelled Columbo, shuffling along trying to understand what’s going on, it is this dogged, detective-like approach to film making that may ensure his WikiLeaks documentary film project stands out in the eyes of history.

Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.