Here you go, folks… I told you it was going to be worth the wait!
4 Mar 11 @ 04:30am by Candice Holznagel
NEVER-BEFORE seen footage from the hands of al-Qaeda insurgents will bring the brutal truth of war to the big screen in a cinema film being produced by Brisbane journalist Michael Ware.
Ware, who spent his childhood days in Caloundra, is somewhat of a celebrity in the US after almost 10 years abroad bringing the reality of the Afghan and Iraq wars to the western world.
Kings Beach, where his family holidayed regularly, is a stark comparison to the life Ware went on to live.
As a Time magazine reporter and then with news organisation CNN, Ware reported from both within the US Army and as a man living among the insurgents.
His experiences, including being kidnapped and held at gunpoint, were gut-wrenching.
“Straight after my kidnapping by al-Qaeda I didn’t leave my bedroom for three days,’’ Ware told ABC’s Australian Story last year.
“Every time I got into a car of any description, going anywhere… I immediately wanted to throw up.
“At the same time, I was under threat from Al Qaeda, they were specifically targeting me for something I’d published.
“We knew that there was a team coming to kill me.’‘
It was Ware’s “stomach churning’’ experience in the battle of Fallujah which “cleansed’’ him of the horrors of the kidnapping.
He was aboard the first US vehicles to enter Fallujah in 2004 and stood beside the soldiers in a darkened house, facing heavy fire from insurgents.
According to Ware’s parents, Gail and Len, who now reside in Caloundra, it was these experiences which took a toll on their son.
“It’s wonderful him being home, it’s just sad the reason that’s brought him home post-traumatic stress,’’ Mrs Ware told the Journal.
“I think he’s progressing well.
“I said to him that he should have come home earlier but he said the damage can be done in one year or the 10 years he was there.
“It’s a living nightmare.
“I don’t know if he will ever be the same person again.’‘
Mrs Ware is proud of her son, who has won numerous awards for his journalistic skills.
“No one else was doing what he did,’’ she said.
“He landed in Afghanistan and didn’t know a soul.
“What do you do, turn right, turn left or go ahead?
`He can just blend. Michael lived their lifestyle.’‘
Earlier this week, Ware was attending meeting after meeting to progress his film project.
He hoped the film, based on the war in Iraq, would be launched through the world-renowned Sundance Film Festival but either way it will hit the big screen next year.
“It’s based on the years I shot video, using things like the al-Qaeda videos the world has never seen,’’ Ware said.
“It’s the first time in history that we know of that a Congressional Medal of Honour has been caught on film.
“It’s the war documentary.
“It just happens to be set in Iraq.
“This really is a film that looks at the true nature of us.
“It’s one war seen through the viewfinder of one man.
“It will confront the psyche of 300 million Americans.’‘
Speaking in his passionate and zealous manner, Ware said the development of the film had turned into a form of therapy.
“I think at heart I am and will always be a journalist.
“I’m exploring a new form of it.’‘
[One correction -- it should have read that a nominee for the Congressional Medal of Honour was caught on film.]