Friday, May 05, 2006

Dramatic Reality Documentary COMBAT DIARY THE MARINES OF LIMA COMPANY Announced - Iraq War

An Emotional Two-Hour Documentary Featuring Video Shot by the Marines of Lima Company - the Hardest Hit Unit in the Iraq War

A&E Network presents an unflinching look at the war in Iraq, as seen through the eyes of the Marines of Lima Company. Featuring candid interviews and never-before-seen video, COMBAT DIARY: THE MARINES OF LIMA COMPANY tells the story of a reserve unit out of Columbus, Ohio, that was deployed to Iraq from February 28-September 30, 2005. This two-hour documentary, which captures significant moments from their tour of duty, including dramatic combat missions, makes its World Premiere May 25, 9-11PM/8C.

During the seven months it spent in Iraq, Lima Company was harder hit than any other combat unit. Out of a company of 184 Marines, 23 died in combat. Last August alone, 11 Marines from Lima were killed when their vehicle hit an IED√Ďan improvised explosive device. It was the single worst roadside bombing in the three-year-old war.

COMBAT DIARY tells the story of the men who died - and those who survived. And it tells the story in a unique way -- using footage shot by the Marines. "As we discovered, almost every Marine in Lima Company went to war with a video camera," says award-winning director and producer Michael Epstein, Viewfinder Productions. "They shot video of everything - playing around in their barracks, firefights, road-side explosions and video letters home."

"This is why this film is so incredibly powerful" said Nancy Dubuc, SVP, Non-Fiction & Alternative Programming, A&E Network. "The story is told by the Marines themselves. We see the war, literally, through their eyes. That′s what sets it apart from other war films."

"The Marines of Lima Company never intended this footage to be made public," explains Epstein. "It was shot for themselves, for their families. It′s vastly different than footage you see from imbedded reporters - or even footage shot with the intent of later being folded into a film. This is one company′s unfiltered experience of war."

In telling the story, the filmmakers were careful to avoid any political agenda. "Our job wasn′t to tell everyone what we think about the war in Iraq," says producer Jonathan Yellen, Viewfinder Productions, who is also a former Marine and a veteran of Desert Storm. "We felt that there was an important story that needed to be told, one that had nothing to do with partisan politics."

COMBAT DIARY is a film with unprecedented power to put the viewer on the ground in Iraq. It is a fitting tribute to the Marines of Lima Company. And, as the nation prepares to honor its dead this Memorial Day, it is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices paid by the men and women in our armed services.