Green Zone

Green Zone takes place in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Saddam and the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Baghdad. Of course, it turns out that WMDs – on which, you’ll recall, the case for war was made – are notable only by their absence. But rather than continuing just to ask the boring where? question, Chief Roy Miller (stubby Matt Damon) starts asking something much more tricky: a why? Why, exactly, are their no WMDs to be found in Iraq? Ain’t that the 740 billion dollar (and counting) question……?

So I won’t give away the plot, but suffice it to say that once the question is asked, a whole heap of troubles begin for Chief Miller. The film has of course been slammed as being anti-American, but I have to say, I didn’t see it that way. I saw it more against those kinds of Americans who thought that marching into a foreign country about which they knew little and cared less, on the flimsiest of pretexts, and with the scantest of plans, in order to drive “regime change” in the name of Democracy was a really chipper idea. People like that don’t come off terribly well in the film. But really nor should they.

Obviously the toppling of Iraq’s government has not yet resulted in the creation of a peaceful, progressive, democratic, Western-leaning, forward-thinking, oil-producing hub in the Middle East (well, the oil bit’s happening, which, if you were cynical, might be cause for comment) so there’s zip chance in a billion that anyone’s going to be filming on location there any time soon. (save of course for knife-wielding Islamicists, chopping the heads off aidworkers over the internet)

So given the above, where would you go to film Iraq? Well Morocco’s served well in the past. So lock that in. And bits of Spain (Murcia and Valencia for instance.) But I loved most of all that the interiors of Saddam’s Palace of Nouveau Richenesse were recreated from the completely gilded and soulless Marriott Renaissance Hotel at Heathrow Airport. Even if it’s not a property owned by that unrepentant old hypocrite Doug Manchester, the Renaissance clearly deserves a boycott based on its criminal interior decor alone. So now you know.

Otherwise, UK On Screen has a list of the goodies.