Title: House Of Saddam

Year Of Release: 2008

Review Date: December 30, 2008

Rating: R

Running time: 360 minutes

Box Office Gross: NA

Site Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Saddam was convincingly played by Jewish Brit, Yigal Naor

The well crafted BBC docudrama, House Of Saddam, explored the rise and fall of the brutal Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The BBC delves into the tyrant's life and illustrates the trail of sorrow he created in becoming the President of Iraq. The film showed Saddam to be a traitor that demanded loyalty from everyone, but seldom gave it to others.

Saddam Hussein's family (clockwise from top L), son-in-law Saddam Kamel and daughter Rana, son Qusay and daughter-in-law Sahar, daughter Ragda and son-in-law Hussein Kamal, son Uday, daughter Hala, Saddam Hussein and his first wife Sajida Kher Ala, pose in this undated photo from the private archive of an official photographer for the regime (photo from Wikipedia).

The action style filming and anecdotes added dimension to the film, clearly utilized in a bid at making what was a very violent life, seem more translatable and palpable on screen.

The sets were grand and regal, reflecting the opulent life Saddam lived, while his people went hungry. It all looked quite authentic.

It also put on screen, the viciousness of his two bloodthirsty sons, Uday and Qusay. They were two psychopathic murderers living a lavish lifestyle at the state's expense.

Real life dead Uday Hussein

Uday, the crazier of the two, frequently raped innocent women, stole and resold humanitarian aid that was sent from other nations, for the country's poor. He was also a major heroine and cocaine user. Uday collected 1,200 luxury cars, among them Rolls Royces, many of the vehicles stolen. 

Saddam's other son, Qusay, is alleged to have murdered hundreds of people. Well, look at the example his father set, killing thousands of Muslims.

Saddam not only had his brother-in-law murdered for daring to tell him not to cheat on his wife, he commissioned the deaths of his son-in-laws as well.

Uday Hussein tortured the members of the Iraqi soccer team for losing matches. He had a used iron maiden in his office, which is really sick.

In what can only be described as an ironic case of what goes around comes around, Saddam and his two sons conspired to kill his two son-in-laws for perceived disloyalty.

Saddam did so by luring them from Jordan, back to Iraq under false pretenses, promising not to kill them. Instead, he later got their uncle, Chemical Ali, to do it for him.

Saddam's son-in-laws struck a deal with the CIA, that the U.S. agency later reneged on. That was not the best course of action, as future turncoats will think twice about talking to the agency with vital information, deeming promises of protection will not be honored.

Saddam Hussein's daughter Raghad is wanted by Interpol

Once Saddam got them back to Iraq, his sons forced them to sign divorce papers, dissolving the marriages to the dictator's daughters, against their will.

Then, Chemical Ali on Saddam's order, sent troops to surround the two men at their late father's home. They gave them two rifles, allowed them to go back inside, then a dozen soldiers opened fire on the home. The two brothers, Saddam's cousins that were married to his daughters, tried to fight back, but were outnumbered and killed.   

U.S. army fires on Uday and Qusay

It is ironic that when the U.S. army invaded Iraq, Saddam's two sons hid in their cousin's house, who later betrayed them, by going to the American camp and accepting the $25,000,000 reward and U.S. citizenship, in exchange for information on their location.

The U.S. Army, surrounded the cousin's house that contained Uday, Qusay, his 14-year-old son Mustafa and their bodyguard. They were given the option of surrender, but refused. They began firing at the troops, who in turn launched rockets into the home killing all the occupants.

The scene where Saddam is later found hiding in a hole in the ground, was also very stunning. He was later hanged, which is not shown.

While, I don't agree with the war in Iraq, as over 1 million civilians have died, Hussein and his family were no angels. The thing I do not like is the loss of life among Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers, which is very sad.

Colonel James Hickey (third from the left) led the squad that found Saddam cowering in a hole

The tell tale signs this production is British are the Iraqi characters using UK phrases such as "straight away." It happens even in non-British productions. I saw a film a few years ago about Hitler and all the Germans had slight British accents. Go figure!

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