Marine ‘A’: Criminal or Casualty of War? – Alexander Blackman, a Royal Marine sergeant, was convicted and jailed for life for shooting an injured Afghan insurgent on the front line. Some condemn him as a war criminal; others claim he is a casualty of war. The nation is divided.
Now, the shamed marine, dismissed with disgrace from the Royal Marines, is launching an appeal from his prison cell – not only against the sentence but the murder conviction itself. Blackman is the first British serviceman to be found guilty of murder during combat since the Second World War. The world will be watching – particularly our closest allies, the US.
On the eve of that appeal, this one-off documentary examines all sides of the argument. Award-winning filmmaker and anthropologist Chris Terrill, who has witnessed the horrors of the Afghan conflict first hand, looks into Blackman’s case, asking questions about the ethics of combat and rules of engagement in war as well as the mind-bending nature of active duty on the front line. The film examines the moral debate of this particular case and the long and bloody history of battlefield executions that have always been a part of war. As well as an exclusive interview with Blackman’s wife, Claire, Terrill speaks to those that condemn Blackman’s actions and those that condone them: those that revile him as a killer and even those that revere him as a hero.
Producer: Chris Terrill
TX: 9th April 2014
Source: BBC press release