In Haditha, Iraq, in November 2005, U.S. Marines killed 24 unarmed Iraqi men, women, and children—some of them at close range inside a small back bedroom in what investigators would later dub “House Two.” The incident did not come to light until six months later, when Time reported on it; the eventual trial became the largest, most expensive criminal investigation in Marine history. At its center was Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the highest-ranking soldier on site, who would become the only participant to stand trial.
Director Michael Epstein interviews and observes Wuterich and his legal team as they prepare for the trial, and he obtains candid recollections from the two N.C.I.S. special agents in charge of the forensic investigation. What he finds is a narrative far murkier than the one spun by the Marine Corps, a narrative in which Wuterich’s right to a fair trial conflicts with the desire to move past what defense attorney Haytham Faraj described as “a very ugly chapter in Marine Corps history.” A daunting but necessary search for clarity, House Two asks vital questions about the justice in the American armed forces and what it means when the most honorable institution in the country doesn’t meet the most basic standard for justice, truth, or integrity.
CAST & CREDITS
Directed by Michael Epstein
Michael Epstein is an award-winning filmmaker who has been nominated for an Academy Award® and has won two Peabody Awards, two Emmys®, and other industry honors. His prior films include LennoNYC, Combat Diary: The Marines of Lima Company, and The Battle Over Citizen Kane.
Michael Epstein, Tony Wood
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