Getting It Right: An Interview With David Simon

This is war. A convoy of highly-trained, heavily-armed, hyper-caffeinated American Marines rolls towards Baghdad in open-top Humvees, down a highway that Saddam Hussein ordered built in his own honour. En route, these men follow poor instructions and bad directions, taking friendly and enemy fire while struggling to obey changeable rules of engagement that needlessly endanger their lives, and result in numerous civilian deaths. They complain constantly, swear pornographically, and sing past or current pop hits when bored, which is often. It makes for phenomenal viewing. “And it’s all true,” says David Simon of his new seven-part miniseries Generation Kill, scrupulously adapted from Evan Wright’s non-fiction book about the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. “Evan really did get the perspective of these guys in the Humvees. This is what they thought and feared. This is where their anger was rooted. This is how they regarded command. We wanted to get it exactly right.”