Parents' Guide to

The Situation

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Sobering Iraq war melodrama isn't for kids.

Movie NR 2007 106 minutes
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Philip Haas' movie is smart and riveting, if sometimes soapy. It focuses not on U.S. troops' experiences, but rather on complex interactions between U.S. civilians and Iraqis, as well as among different groups of Iraqis. The film reveals wartime arrogance stemming from ignorance. The occupying forces don't or can't comprehend the damage they do daily, or more expansively. Even when they mean well, the occupiers can't see themselves. And when, at the very last, Anna does see herself through Zaid's camera lens, she can only be heartbroken.

The character of Anna is trapped in a stereotypical female role as The Situation slips into soapiness. She's the object of multiple lusts and affections -- and the damsel when Dan and company need one. She's caught in her own willful haze, and so, like the occupiers she can no longer abide, she doesn't see what she's doing.

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