Running time: 115 minutes
Language: Polish / English
Polish soldiers in Iraq are assigned to simple task of guarding city hall, but situation quickly escalates into siege. With limited supplies they have to face a large mob attacking the building using heavy weaponry.
New batch of Polish soldiers arrive to Iraq in 2004 and they don’t have to wait long to see some action - their convoy is ambushed on the way from the airfield. While they try to find some cover one of the soldiers is shot and falls on the ground in the open space. Captain Kalicki gives order to new medic to reach the wounded and help him, but young man just froze unable to move. Another officer tried to help the wounded, but was shot dead. When the soldiers arrive to their base the medic is charged with failing to provide assistance and put into arrest. Rest of the unit is sent to Karbala city hall, also used as a prison, to protect it from suspected attack of insurgents. Kalicki with 40 men plus 40 Bulgarian soldiers and 300 Iraqi militia should be enough to withheld the attack, but when they arrive to city hall it turns out that the Iraqis had fled previous night and the Polish-Bulgarian forces are on their own. Soon they learn that the incoming insurgents are not just angry mob - they are armed with mortars and RPGs. To make things worse they have few Polish soldiers as hostages...
Polish war film based on true events that took place in Karbala in 2004, where Polish and Bulgarian units had to fight for three days cut off from supplies and unable to contact their bases. As for Polish production Karbala is surprisingly good effort, film is well balanced between facts and fiction. The dialogues are weak point of the film, the medic subplot is far-fetched, but the siege is shown in realistic way.
Our rating: 7.6 / 10
Film value: 8 / 10
Realism factor: 4 / 5
Adventure factor: 3 / 5
Historical accuracy factor: 4 / 5
War films are not always showing the war per se - often the main theme is the influence of the conflict on lives of people involved, but also their families and friends. War is seldom a local thing - the trauma, the pain, the death they put their mark on people from around the world.
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