"... One of the more remarkable moments in 'The Survival of Saddam,' is an interview with a former associate who recalls being ushered into Saddam's personal library some 30 years ago and finding the shelves stocked with books about Stalin.
Written, produced, directed, and in some instanced, photographed by Greg Barker, this 'Frontline' co-venture with InVision Productions ponders why and how one of the globe's most despised and despicable humans remains the absolute ruler of Iraq and an international force to be reckoned with.
'This is the story of what made Saddam Hussein a master survivor,' the program promises.
'The Survival of Saddam' falls a bit short of fulfilling that promise, actually, but as an impressively researched, remarkably documented report on the facts of Saddam's dogged survival, it hits the mark. ***1/2"
" ... [Saddam's] remarkable gift for survival, producer Greg Barker concludes, is rooted in a hardscrabble childhood, an idolization of Joseph Stalin and a tyrant's knack for perpetrating and fending off conspiracies. The 'Frontline' includes some remarkable footage, including one of the daily Hussein-is-ruler music videos that Iraqi TV airs, videotape of the party meeting where he seized power (and sent some good friends to their deaths), and a film he hired a Hollywood director to make showing the botched assassination attempt on an earlier Iraqi leader that helped make Hussein's legend as a tough guy.
This may not break new ground, but it certainly offers viewers, in a neat package, a way to begin to understand a man who remains one of the foremost threats to world peace."
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