Thursday, September 02, 2004

Soundtrack to war 

I finally got back some of my tax money, which I pay to fund our Australian public broadcaster. Last night, ABC screened the recent VH1 channel documentary "Soundtrack to War." It was the first time in ages that I spent an hour and a half in front of TV in one stretch, which I guess is a commendation of sorts for this Australian-made doco. The only thing that overly jarred with me was the film's obsession with ruined, bullet scarred buildings and burned out cars, as if the whole of Baghdad was one big set for "Mad Max 4." That aside, the portrait of American servicemen and women (and some Iraqis) talking about, and often performing, their favourite music - the "soundtrack to war" - was quite touching and illuminating.

The big question is: will a good music producer step forward and put together an album of songs by these and other soldiers serving in Iraq? There were some great songs in the making here, whether rap, country, R&B, ballad or metal. I was impressed and I would buy a copy myself. I'm sure many others would too. This project shouldn't make any money - give the proceeds to Iraqi charities, or to the families of the fallen soldiers - but whichever way it's done, these songs of pride, patriotism, loneliness, loss, confusion and anger need to be heard.


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