Bad Voodoo’s War

FRONTLINE goes to war in Iraq with a band of California-based National Guard soldiers who call themselves the “Bad Voodoo Platoon” to tell their very personal story in Bad Voodoo’s War. To record their war, from private reflections to real-time footage of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks on the ground, director Deborah Scranton creates a “virtual embed,” supplying cameras to the soldiers of the Bad Voodoo Platoon and working with them to shape an intimate portrait that reveals the hard grind of their war.

Says Scranton: “What compels me is telling a story from the inside out, to crawl inside their world with them to see what it looks like, feels like and smells like. It’s really important to give soldiers the chance to press their own record button on this war.”

Q & A with Director Deborah Scranton on the making of Bad Voodoo’s War.

Getting a Platoon’s-Eye View of the War on the Ground
Neil Gunslinger, The New York Times

“Don’t let the conventional-looking first few minutes, in which Ms. Scranton sets up the premise, fool you; this is a very different view of the war than you’ll see on the nightly news. [Director Deborah] Scranton, aided by creepy nighttime video, builds the tension effectively toward the inevitable explosion, pausing along the way to fill in the back stories of a few of the soldiers.”

From the War Zone
Nancy deWolf Smith, The Wall Street Journal

“… What kind of person can face months of such danger, day in and day out? Only the brave, undoubtedly. Beyond that, it is difficult to say much more specific about the men of Bad Voodoo Platoon. Of its 30-something members, only two have been chosen to speak at length here. What they have to say is disturbing on many levels…”

Available on: Frontline (PBS) (56 minutes), Amazon (DVD).