We rented this HBO miniseries at the recommendation of an Army reservist who I interviewed for the newspaper last month. The reservist had just returned from his second yearlong tour in Iraq, and he told me “Generation Kill” was a favorite of many of the men he served with while stationed at Ballad Air Force base in Iraq. The men felt the miniseries represented a realistic and unbiased look at the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
“Generation Kill” originally aired in 2008, on HBO. The series is based on a succession of articles entitled, “The Killer Elite,” by Evan Wright, published in Rolling Stone magazine in 2004. Evan Wright is reporter who had been embedded with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion of the United States Marine Corps during the initial invasion of Iraq.
The seven-part miniseries was filmed in Africa and with four parts directed by Susanna White and three directed by Simon Cellan Jones (both British television directors).
We rented the series from Netflix and watched it over a several week period. Impressed by the young actors hired for these roles, as well as the writing, this miniseries definitely deserves a recommendation here at HeidiTown.
The audience is taken on a ride with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, a group of Marines rolling through Iraq in humvees, hoping to reach Baghdad in time to be part of the action. In the meantime, they work their way through the Iraqi countryside encountering good and bad guys along the route.
This isn’t a miniseries for everyone. It isn’t horribly violent, but it is raw. “Generation Kill” is unfiltered. In this miniseries we are privy to the way men, under enormous pressure, deal with the stress by telling jokes, mostly crude, off-color jokes; but this is partly why the series feels so real.
“Generation Kill” is a behind the scenes look at a war; a war that continues to take Americans lives every month, but whether you support the war, or are opposed to it, the stories told in this miniseries are those of heroes.
Be sure to watch the bonus material at the end of the last DVD. There is an intriguing interview with Evan Wright and several of the Marines depicted in the miniseries, as well as some behind the scene footage.
Note: Last month, one of the stars of “Generation Kill” was in Berthoud, Colorado. Jon Huertas, who played Sergeant Antonio Espera in the miniseries, served eight years in the US Air Force before heading to Hollywood. He is now a vocal supporter of the Puppies Behind Bars Dog Tags program, and flew in to attend and speak at the Dog Tags graduation ceremony held in Berthoud on August 29, 2009.