That’s what the producer and former William Morris agent says is his ambition in Evan Wright’s profile in Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue. Dollard in 2004 embedded with U.S. Marines in Baghdad to make a “pro-war documentary,” “Young Americans,” which is still in production. “My first time in a combat zone, I felt like I had walked into some bizarre ultra-expensive movie set,” Dollard tells Wright. “I had this vivid clarity, like when I used to take LSD. I felt joy. I felt like I had a message from God. or whoever, that this is exactly what I should be doing with my life. I belong in war. I am a warrior.” In February, Dollard was nearly killed when the Humvee he was riding in was struck by a bomb, killing two Marines on board. “This is a propaganda war, and if I can fight with a camera the same as a Marine with his rifle, I will.”
Wright, the author of the award-winning “Generation Kill,” his account of a Marine platoon in Iraq, says that he was attracted to the article because “we have been through similar battles but have drawn different conclusions about the war.” Wright detailed some of those views about Iraq in a piece he wrote for Variety’s V Life, “Dazed and Confused.” He did agree with Dollard when it comes to comparisons of the war to a Hollywood movie:
Wright wrote, “When I was in the midst of battle, “Apocalypse Now” often came to mind, mostly because it captured the weird exuberance of destruction, those “I love the smell of Napalm in the morning” moments that sometimes struck me while watching Marine helicopters light up palm groves with rockets and machine guns. These moments were particularly disturbing because the reality is that being in a war is at times a very pro-war experience.”
A clip from Dollard’s doc, now on You Tube and http://www.patdollard.com.