Baghdad High: The American Teen Of Occupied Iraq

Continuing their summer-television-redeeming documentary series, tonight at 9 HBO premieres Baghdad High. Four high school students were given cameras and asked to film their senior year at Tariq bin Ziad High School in Baghdad. The movie is edited from over 300 hours of footage filmed by the four:

Hayder, who yearns to be a singer-songwriter; Anmar, who thinks he is a stud with girls and plays soccer like David Beckham; Ali, who dreams of being an architect; and his best friend Mohammed, who doesn’t yet know what he wants to be, and is content being the joker of the bunch. They could be teens in any city around the world, talking about celebrities like Britney Spears, debating who has the best-ripped jeans and discussing whose hair is a disaster. But their lives are actually very different: Every day, they are surrounded by suicide bombings, mortar attacks, kidnappings and citywide curfews.

Since kicking off with the controversial Polanski documentary, HBO’s slate has been consistently excellent (though the world could probably have done without any more attention put on Heidi Fleiss.) This seems like a good antidote to fodder like Legally Blonde High School I Love Money Musical or whatever.