On Saturday, September 24, 2005, the most impossibly glorious week of my life was just beginning. I was sitting on a Union Square park bench next to The Prettiest Girl In The World, unable to believe that this was really happening. When a stranger approached us and offered two tickets to a free documentary playing at the Cinema Village, we skeptically accepted. I must confess, my expectations were quite low. That film was OCCUPATION: DREAMLAND.
If you read this blog, you'll know how deeply that film affected me. Garrett Scott and Ian Olds were there for a Q&A after the film, and I was mesmerized by their complete and utter lack of pretension. They were thoughtful, honest, and sincere, qualities that were reflected in their profoundly moving work. OCCUPATION: DREAMLAND doesn't preach to the converted and it isn't coated in a layer of hyper-intellectualism. It bravely humanizes these soldiers and allows the horrifically muddled situation in Iraq to expose itself naturally. Most filmmakers would succumb to their weaker tendencies and deliver a pointed diatribe or outright condemnation. Scott and Olds, on the other hand, made a conscious effort to stay out of the way. The result is an infinitely more valuable statement than something like FAHRENHEIT 9/11.
I never actually met Garrett Scott, but I have tried my best to spread the word about OCCUPATION: DREAMLAND. I'm fortunate enough to have a DVD of the film, which I intend to watch tonight, with my parents. They are conservative people, but I have a hunch that the film will help them to see the situation in a different light.
Rest in Peace, Garrett. You have left a lasting impression on my life. Thank you.