DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT – LINDSAY HOLT

The second U.S. war in Iraq, and the second battle of Fallujah in particular, came at a provocatively pivotal moment in history. It was a time and place where the ever expansive empire of America once again found itself experiencing the limits of its own influence and reach upon the global stage. Yet at this time it was in a post 9/11 cultural landscape. One where technologically powerful media and military interests merged with long established foreign policy aims that would bring the great “point of the spear” – the United States Marines – into an intense urban battle, which would claim the lives of many, and leave survivors whose lives would be forever altered by the experience.

The short film Devil Dogs is a set of glimpses or vignettes within a very brief 36-hour period of the journey of five Marines and one brave lone American photojournalist embedded with them. Having only just met, together they at first joke around, then dialogue deeply, and finally they face a fierce fire fight. To each man they are antithetical archetypal representatives of the American experience of its own collective conscience when at war – the observer and the warriors. What we’ve attempted to make here is thus, perhaps, a new kind of “epic” short film. It is one which aspires unapologetically to be large in historical reference, yet admittedly small and intimately detailed within its brief character profiles. These are individual stories nobly told with compassion, honor, and respect. It’s been a true privilege to have worked on this project. I hope that in some good way it may make a relevant difference in an indifferent world.

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