by: Aubertha Jane Michaella (04120090136)

Live From Baghdad is a movie released back in December of 2002, directed by Mick Jackson and staring movie award winners Michael Keaton and Helena Bonham Carter. This movie is based on a true story and taken from a book with the same title written by Robert Wiener. This movie tells a story of how a group of journalists from America reporting live what really happened in Baghdad, putting their lives in danger for the truth during the Persian Gulf War or the Operation Dessert Storm back in 1991.

The Movie began with an over all look of the Persian Gulf War, with Iraqi tanks start rolling into Kuwait City as the beginning of Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. While back in the United States, CNN picked Robert Wiener to go to Baghdad to cover the invasion. As they arrive in Baghdad, they then settle in Al-Rasheed Hotel and start doing their job of covering the news and condition in Baghdad real-time. The conflict began with the CNN crew noticed that they are being monitored and how the crews were pressured by the Iraqi government during their mission on reporting. Trying to get a better look into situation and having a better coverage of situation Wiener then try to have an interview with Iraq’s president Saddam Hussein. As well as the other networks that also try to get an interview with the president Wiener’s contact then didn’t give the interview to CNN yet to other networks, and send Wiener and his crew to Kuwait to cover the incubator story in three hospitals. Wiener and his crew then also became news as the only American citizens inside Kuwait.

This situation then create an argument between Wiener and his contact, with the end result CNN then get to interview Saddam Hussein about the Gulf War. The continuation of the war situation forces United Nation to put a deadline for Iraqi’s Soldiers to draws out from Kuwait, or they will face military action. During that time, then CNN crews got their pieces of equipment that made them the strongest news channel ever existed until today, the four-wire that made their connection to Atlanta station smooth and easy.

As the deadline is coming closer, then most of the major networks leaves Baghdad and began evacuating. Some of the CNN crews evacuated as well, yet Wiener and other decided to stay and get inside coverage of what will happen in Baghdad. And finally on January 17, 1991 the U.S began to bomb the city of Baghdad, with Iraqi soldier shooting to fire to anti-aircraft guns into the sky, coloring the dark sky like fireworks in a very eerie way. As soon as the bombing starting Bernard Shaw, John Holliman and Peter Arnett began to do live reporting with their four-wire to Atlanta station describing the situation and it was broadcasted live on CNN in America. Despite the terror from the blasting bomb near their hiding place, these three reporters kept on reporting and their network became news as they were the only station that were able to report live from inside Baghdad during the bombing. Yet then they have to stop reporting live as Weiner’s contact and Iraqi soldiers came and force them to stop.

With what the crew managed to cover back in Baghdad, CNN then grew to be the largest, most trustable news network known worldwide. Even until today, CNN is still the most trustable international news network that people lean to if they are trying to get reliable news. Many people today believe what the crew did in Baghdad have created a major network station. The perseverance of the journalist in trying to get the reality and described what happened back in Baghdad created sympathy and empathy and has shown reality to nor only America yet to the world. In the movie Wiener says, “I want all my men go back home walking and standing tall” and that is what they did surely for themselves, for the station and for America.

As the movie was based on true story, yet the incubator incidents that happened in Kuwait is proven that it didn’t happen. Yet, the say that they present the film was very smooth and touching. Showing a reality of how journalists are striving to get news to report. The journalists show their pure dedication to their career, to their profession as a journalist that should report and bring the reality to everybody. They know how this is a great story to be told. As Ed Turner says in the movie, “No story is worth your life... but this is the story of a lifetime.”
CNN had broke some ground rules to be able to report the event, the journalists sacrificed their safety and lives to show the world what really happened and kept the terror and the feeling to be their experience of a lifetime.

This amazing film then showed how authoritarian Iraq was and still is until today. How the government controls what could be published and what should be published as from time to time Saddam Hussein watched the news and how the Iraqi soldiers came and forced them to stop reporting during the bombing in Baghdad. To Iraq’s government the media should not attack the government and should be supporting anything that has became the jurisdiction. Media should always be an ally with the government and report things on their (governmental) behalf.
While on the other side of the world, in America with a very liberal press system they are trying to show the world what is the truth and how the truth should be told to the audience.

Today, there are still many journalists that put their safety on the line to be able to cover stories and reveals what really happened. Many also still struggle to unravel all the truths that were hidden by people of authorities with their own hidden agenda. Many had gone through abductions, jails, and other terrible situation to be able to reveals the truth.