Runs at Northwest Film Forum, Fri., March 14–Thurs., March. 20. Not rated. 84 minutes.
Billed as an "intimate" portrait of Iraq's insurgency, Meeting Resistance—the debut doc from photojournalists-turned-filmmakers Steve Connors and Molly Bingham—does a remarkable job of being the opposite. Instead of individualizing the jihadists, the film shows a series of characters who are blurred, faceless, nameless, and generalized non-personae, with monikers like "The Teacher," "The Warrior," and "The Imam." So much for know thine enemy. With the identities of their subjects obscured, the filmmakers rely on indiscriminate shots of Iraqi daily life to illustrate the resistance: Men talking in a cafe are implicated as conspirators planning an attack; it's like using Grimaldi's customers to represent Mafia hit men. Still, the film manages to capture the palpable frustration on the ground—we hear one story of an Iraqi man who was so pissed off at being roughed up by a U.S. soldier that he bought an RPG—and everyone condemns the American "occupiers." Ultimately, Meeting Resistance is just one more doc about the monumental screwup that is the U.S. campaign in Iraq.