Iraq Films Get Army's Attention

Film liaisons offer help; some directors see spin
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2008 1:58 PM CDT
Paul Haggis, left, and Brian De Palma arrive for the screening of the movie " In the Valley of Elah" at the 33rd American Film Festival in Deauville, Normandy, France, Tuesday Sept. 4, 2007.    (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
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(Newser) – War films can help shape public perception, and the Army is trying to guide moviemakers away from negative portrayals of the Iraq conflict like the ones that dominated films about Vietnam. Army liaisons to Hollywood offer equipment, expertise—and script alterations that some filmmakers see as spin. The LA Times looks at an area in which, one military liaison says, "There doesn't seem to be a lot of room for nuance."

"We needed their help," says director Paul Haggis, who requested but ultimately declined the Army’s assistance for In the Valley of Elah. "If they had reasonable input I would have taken it. But I am not there to do publicity for the Army.” (Read more Iraq stories.)