Thursday, December 4, 2008

Drama offers comprehensive look at dictator's reign

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Saddam Hussein hasn't been in the news much lately. Being hanged to death two years ago will have that effect. Still, the situation in Iraq continues to bear the impact of his life and his ruthlessness, many of the details of which are not widely known.

HBO Films' "House of Saddam" fills in enough specifics for a complete picture of this devious dictator to emerge -- but there is a catch. You've got to be willing to put aside four hours, which is asking a lot when the subject is a dead, savage, cold-hearted, brutal, megalomaniacal tyrant.

So why do it? Because "Saddam" is as least as much drama as it is documentary. It crackles with palace intrigue, family rivalries and the unpredictability of an amoral strongman with an unquenchable thirst for power and absolutely no qualms about snuffing out the lives of friend and foe alike.

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