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Iraq: Did My Son Die in Vain?

Wed Mar 20, 9-10pm, BBC2

One hundred and seventy nine British troops lost their lives during the invasion of Iraq. For this hour-long BBC2 documentary, the father of one such soldier, Geoff Dunsworth, visits Basra to discover if his son’s death was futile. Accompanied by a local journalist, he visits schools and Iraqi families who’ve also lost loved ones and, perhaps most poignantly, visits the former camp where his son Chris was based – currently being razed to the ground before being handed back to the Iraqis.

However, while the emotional insights are unique and engaging, the programme fails to present anything that hasn’t been covered extensively elsewhere. Simply reminding viewers that Saddam was a tyrant, that poverty in Basra is rife, or that innocent civilians lost their lives in droves won’t engage anyone with even a passing interest in the news. Though well intentioned, ‘Did My Son Die in Vain?’ fails to transcend its rather blunt title.