Shot during November 2003, the Iraq war's bloodiest month to date, "True Life: I'm Living in Iraq" captures the despair, fear and hope of young people living in a nation attempting to reassemble itself following America's invasion and occupation.
A young Iraqi voices mixed emotions about the American takeover and grapples with newfound freedom amid violent crime, bombings and gunfire. Meanwhile, young Americans on the streets and in a Baghdad hospital talk candidly with MTV about fighting a controversial and unpredictable war.
Second Lieutenant Sandy Sizemore, 23, of tiny Bomont, West Virginia, was three months out of nursing school when she was shipped to the intensive care unit of the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. With a patient roster that includes American soldiers, Iraqi civilians and enemy prisoners of war, she takes pride in healing war casualties' severe wounds. Though homesick, stressed and emotionally charged, Sizemore never forgets her duty as a nurse. "My goal is just to keep them alive till the next shift," she says.
Within a year, Specialist Eric Christ, 25, of Los Angeles, went from a full-time job as assistant manager of a carwash to dodging rocket-propelled grenade attacks and homemade bombs on Baghdad's perilous Haifa Street. Eric's new job consists of patrolling streets, conducting hideout raids and protecting citizens. His most difficult battle, though, is wrestling with the horrendous memories of close buddies lost in combat.
Muthana, 22, struggles to make a movie about the U.S. soldiers in his hometown of Baghdad. Prior to the war, Muthana was forced to study engineering. But once Saddam Hussein fled, Muthana immediately pursued a film major. Sadly, the odds are stacked high against him: All of his school's equipment has either been looted or damaged irreparably, film textbooks aren't expected to reappear for at least a year, and the American military perceives every Iraqi as a potential threat.
View real life in Iraq through young people's eyes when "True Life: I'm Living in Iraq" premieres Thursday (February 26) at 9 p.m., and "Don't you ever, ever say 'My life sucks' again," cautions Specialist Christ. " 'Cause it doesn't."
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