One Day of War looked at the subject of war by following 16 people fighting in 16 of the wars in the world during one day.
Each film was made on 22 March 2004. The video producers followed their chosen, or given, "character" throughout the 24-hour period, capturing a snapshot of their everyday lives.
Viewers gained an insight into their reasons for fighting, their hopes for the future, as well as intimate portraits of the fear, excitement, and often banality of life in a war.
One Day of War was broadcast on 27th May at 2100.
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
What a thought-provoking, well put together and exceptional programme this was. Each snapshot gave a concise picture behind the thinking and lives of each of the characters with empathy, often humour and above all clarity. Very sobering. Thank you and congratulations . It certainly puts life into perspective.
Clarissa Mildren, Haslemere, UK
Though the programme was fascinating, it was also very frustrating, in as much as too much material was crammed into this short one and a half hour.
For most of us, so totally ignorant of world affairs (let's face it, how often are any of these conflicts mentioned in the news?), the programme was, at times, extremely confusing and I, for one, found myself occasionally losing track of who was doing what or where, which was a great shame!
Will there be a repeat of this programme in the not too distant future? I do hope there will be as it was a real mine of information, a window opened on parts of the world that otherwise hardly ever get a look-in...
Did I wrongly understand that the BBC is also planning to run a programme entirely dedicated to the study of child-warriors the world over? If so, when is that going to be broadcast?
Beatrice Questroy, London England
It is terrible to think that still after all this time these wars are going on and are not being reported. Why isn't the west doing anything to help?
I was surprised how little hatred there was. The people involved in the conflicts simply seemed pragmatic, this is how the world is.
The saddest plight was that of the Hmong. All it would take is the Laos Government to stretch out the hand of peace and reconciliation. I had planned a trip to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in the future. Having seen this programme Laos will no longer be on my agenda.
Joseph Wilkinson, Whitehaven, Cumbria
Thank you so much for such a poignant view of war and humanity. Media coverage of war often presents things in black and white, good and bad - polarizing opinions and people. Your programme highlighted the senseless pain of war for all - no matter what their politics. Thank you for focussing on the people rather than politics, and please do keep making more programmes like this one.
SH, London, UK
Seeing the US soldier in Iraq moaning about the lack of cheese on his burger, surrounded by shots of people making noodles out of trees just summarized for me how little us westerners understand the meaning of the word suffering.
If only there was oil in Laos or Somalia, maybe we would care a bit more.
Yet again we see another example of the Americans using people as pawns as in the case of the Hmong. How much longer must we put up with America using the rest of the world as a means to their own ends?
Brian Rowley, Eastwood England
I am sorry to say I found this programme all too shallow. I can see there is much to be said for programmes which just 'show it like it is' with little or no commentary, but I think such a style can easily be manipulated.
I hardly ever saw the interviewer ask those involved why they were pursuing wars which often seem pointless. And there was very little mention that two of these wars - in Burma and Colombia - are widely seen in the outside world as a cover for drugs operations. It just struck me as being lazy journalism.
Peter Baber, Leeds
The most incredible programme I've ever seen, this should be repeated and repeated until everyone has seen it. I defy anyone would want the world to stay as it currently is after watching this. We must do something.
Matthew, Watford, UK
In this documentary there should have been some of the other sides too. Palestinians or Taliban and of course the Serbians who still fight. You missed those. Overall a great job though.
Martin Johnson, London
A very powerful and emotional documentary highlighting current conflicts around the globe. How can we as a civilised society (as we like to think) just sit back and let this kind of activity continue unchecked, especially to the Hmong tribes in Laos?
We should be ashamed at our lack of action against these monstrosities taking place. International intervention is required NOW.
Adam Green, Bournemouth, Dorset
I want to express my sincere gratitude to Mr Omaar and the producers for bringing this quality of journalism to our TV screens. Nowadays, I think the audience is stunted by listening to the same repetitive tunes and the same topics. Your programme was a bit of fresh air. I am looking forward to watching the next work from this team.
Maria Montoya, Compton, UK
I just want to congratulate the BBC on an incredible documentary. It was fascinating and often took the breath away, putting a deeply moving insight into the plight of so many of the world's often hidden struggles.
Well done to the teams involved.
Simon Norris, London
Thank you for this amazing programme. In a journalistic climate where all channels are guilty of sensationalist reporting, this programme gave the facts with no frills.
If all reports were done like this then we would be far closer to a balanced understanding of the world. Thank you
James Hector, Watford, UK
The plight of the Hmong people of Laos really touched me. The fact that only twelve tribes, with old and inefficient weapons, fought thousands of communist soldiers was shocking. Those people were fighting not for a religion or for a political belief but for their very survival.
Towards the end of the programme, (which was brilliant in its execution and portrayal of worldwide conflict consequently), there was a clip of the Hmong people all crying because they thought that the outsider camera crew had come to save them.
I was wondering if there is any way we can appeal to the government to pressurise the communist Government of Laos. Or at least to make the plight of the Hmongs known to the international community.
Andrew Hosking (17), Plymouth, England
Watching the daily routine of these fighters has been a truly humbling experience. The matter-of-fact delivery of many of the participants simply emphasised how extraordinary their circumstances were. Their lives provide a stark contrast to the banal and easy existence most Westerners take for granted.
An excellent programme... the best piece of television I have seen for a considerable time.
Mark Bower, london UK
I recorded this programme for my students (I am an English teacher). I would like as many people to see this as possible. Unfortunately, those who should see the meaninglessness of it all have no access to television.
What stood out the most for me was the plain ordinariness of the subjects in the documentary. I just wanted to take Muktar home and tell him it's all over with now.
I guess it's too late now.
Raymond Goslitski, Leuven, Belgium
I have just had the immense luck to watch your mind boggling documentary "One Day Of War", seated at my well filled dinner table.
The power of such well made documentaries is immeasurable and, as a freelance lifestyle photographer, the insignificance of my activity in this world was so clear.
Michel Vaerewijck, Antwerp, Belgium
I can't believe how the Hmong people in Laos have suffered with no help. Yet we help Iraq. How selfish and abhorrent we are.
Look at the children - all they know is fear and hunger. Why aren't they helped? Shame on all who stand by and watch.
Amber, Milton Keynes
What a brilliant programme. Credit must go to the BBC for an ingenious idea, and its wonderful execution. The efforts of all the camera crews involved deserves praise. It really brought home the problems of the world that are so often ignored by the international media.
Tom Brown, Winchester
I thought the show was amazing. It really opened my eyes to what is actually happening around the world. With all the current issues with Iraq, I believe this was aired at a great time. To see other wars as they unravel was brilliant, and maybe we should care more about other events than just concentrate on Iraq?
James Lewis, Wallington, England
This programme was one of the best programmes I have seen in the last 10 years. I have learnt so much. More of the same please. I thank you.
Shujha Ashraf, London, England
As a Somalian, it's sad to see the image of the confused young Somalian militia man (Muqtar) who was finally killed. Most of those in film were fighting for a reason, but not Muqtar - he seemed confused, lost and purposeless, and that is exactly what is happening in Somalia.
Dahir Yare, London
Fantastic programme. We need more of these shows to show the world what some people are suffering. We need to be more exposed and learn about such problems. The ending about a group of villages not seeing an outsider or foreigner and crying when they thought the camera crew was help was truly emotional.
A great programme. Too many of these conflicts are ignored by the world press. It is programmes like this that help to make people aware of them and help to bring about change hopefully for the better.
Tom, London, UK
I was touched by everything I saw in tonight's show. The programme opened my eyes to a lot of the real world out there and why so many people live so poorly and carry weapons. Many have different reasons, but to me they all fight for the ones they love, and most of all their country. I am a 19-year-old boy from a First World country and city where i have the privilege of going to college and studying sports. Yet in the future I wish to help change the war in this world.
Teefo, Glasgow, Scotland, U.K
The programme was terrific. It truly brought home the extent of the turmoil and killing in this world, and, having lived in Uganda for a year, I found the depictions touching and they brought me to tears more than once. Thank you for such a programme.
Jessica Cole, Leicester, UK
Watching this programme just proved to me how cut of the "Western" world really is. I for my part had no idea the conditions "human beings" are put through. It may not mean very much, but my prayers are with the Hmong people in Laos.
Brilliant. It's programmes like this that make the BBC the best!!!
Andy Drudy, Seaford
Benedict Rogers' recent book "A Land Without Evil" outlines the genocide inflicted by the Burmese government on the Karen and other tribes. I've been over there and seen the results. Walking people over minefields, burning villages and gang rape. Refugee camps stuffed with many thousands of people too scared to go home. It goes on....and on
Alan Mint, Billericay, Essex, UK
It is depressing, moving and shocking. The world seems to have lost its sanity. As the Israeli soldier put it: "We should use our ideology in the negotiating table - nobody needs this war". Common sense is lacking throughout this small Earth.
Amy Gilbert, Liverpool, UK
Excellent programme. Please, please broadcast more like this. Superb editing (especially the food segment!) Essential viewing!!
Steven, London, UK
Absolutely amazing. Hopefully the nation will see that wars don't only happen on the news and in highly televised areas.
This documentary looks excellent! A true tribute to the dedication of the BBC to bring the personal views of those forgotten around the globe to the forefront of our attention yet again. I am an English student studying in an American university, will we ever get to see this documentary here? Thank you, and once again I commend you on being the finest news reporting agency in the world!
Mark Saville, Tucson, Arizona, USA
As a Colombian, I find One Day of War a good opportunity to look at many other of the civil conflicts happening around the world (besides my own country's). I like the idea of showing the faces of the fighters. We usually tend to place them all in a faceless group and that makes us have radical opinions about them. But with faces... isn't it harder to make a snap judgement about a war?
The programme is very interesting and should appeal to a lot of people. The only complaint against it is the fact that for the Israel-Palestine conflict, only the Israel side is portrayed, which is very surprising, and disappointing.
M.Umar Ali, Manchester, United Kingdom
War is simply part of what humans are. There's a romance to war. Whole civilizations have been built around war. Great literature is filled with war stories. And war makes great movies.
Susan King, Derwood, USA
I don't think there is much difference between 'rebels' or terrorists and freedom fighters. The difference is created by whose perspective it and in the number and how technologically advanced the fighters are. The fewer, the poorer they are, more likely they are to be called rebel or terrorists. When they acquire enough they become state and freedom fighters etc.
Sridhar, Philadelphia, USA
Until poverty is alleviated around the globe and strict regulations are imposed on the sale of arms, people will go on struggling until the world disappears.
S.Vasanthakumar, Sri Lanka
What about Kashmi. They have been at war in the region for centuries, but no mention. I think people should be aware of every situation around the world, not only conflicts with western political interests. Kashmir was a result of the Imperial departure in the 50's, a rule and divide policy that the British have become infamous on.
Kalum Patelo, Goa, India
Whenever I hear someone apply the word "civilised" to a nation, group of nations or the world overall, I let out a dry laugh. There are so many conflicts in the world - many for wrong and pointless reasons - that the word "civilised" has become over rated. Even on the day-to-day basis with criminals running around our streets, I sometimes feel that to be "civilised" is nothing more than a dream, some lame excuse to clear the mind of guilt so that you can sleep at night.
Aaron David Hall, Telford, England
Congratulations on a brave idea realised. This is why I am happy to pay my licence fee. Could you imagine this being produced by any other broadcaster? Well done.
Amazing!!! As an Israeli watching the BBC, I always thought "our" conflict is of the largest scale, since its always in the headlines. Now I see that while the world is obsessed with house demolitions and a building of a wall, millions(!!!) are being murdered across the world without even a notice.
Yosi, Tel-Aviv, Israel
This is about the best war reporting I have seen this year. You put the human face on this global madness for influence and don't spare dangerous situations to be objective. Congratulations.
Gerd Plumanns, Rollingen, Luxembourg
It is the right thing to expose the cruelty of war, and expose the hollowness of "just" wars for a "just" cause! Any programme that gives a first hand insight is welcome!
Srinivasan Toft, HumlebŠk, Denmark
What astounds me is that the human race is still here. If we continue as we have done for centuries, given the capability of modern weapons, there can only be one eventual outcome: self extinction.
A great big thank you to the whole team! "One Day of War" is an ambitious undertaking that helps shed light on some of the tragedies that our earth faces. Through the quality of the reporting and the talents of its journalists, analysts and researchers the BBC has once again demonstrated that it is the best in the business! Keep up the good work!
Carl Bj÷rkman, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), Turin, Italy
War? It is a stupid game of politics that the wealthy and the powerful play using the rest of us who are indoctrinated into believing we belong to one side or the other.
Louise Keane, Reading
One Day of War is a brilliant undertaking. Somehow getting a personal story from individuals in war zones makes a big impact as one can identify with these individuals and it is no longer something abstract.
M.C., Boston, USA
I find One Day of War to be a most intelligent graphic depiction of the toll upon our earth of war and warlike actions. You have made our planet one entity and brought our minds to a new point of understanding the toll of international violence. Thank you.
Elizabeth Kerry, USA
Some of the accounts had me close to tears, they are so depressing. It just makes you wonder, how long until conflict visits Europe again? How long until we are fighting for what we believe?
I am a US Marine Corps veteran. I served in the first war with Iraq. I love my country and consider myself very patriotic and have much respect for those US and British forces serving in Iraq. Unfortunately, due to Mr Bush's personal foreign policy, the world sees all Americans as warmongering barbarians. They need to bring our boys home, US/UK. Every day more US/UK troops die, in this wasted, unwanted war.
Henry Lee, Panama City, Fl
The BBC never ceases to amaze me with the quality and depth of its reporting. Such a poignant example. Where is our civilization heading? In the thousands of years that have gone by couldn't we have learned to live with each other in peace.
Alan Kenney, Austin, Texas, USA
Most religions teach that two wrongs don't make a right, to turn the other cheek, and tolerate others. Unfortunately, most cultures that have tried to adhere to these principles wind up getting wiped away by their violent, unethical counterparts who aren't inhibited by their values.
Brendan, Butler, PA, USA
I think it will do a good job if it reminds us that just because something does not appear in the newspapers or on the TV doesn't mean it's not happening. The world does not revolve around the West, figuratively as well as literally, and we would do well to remember that some people in the world would give anything for their biggest choice of the day to be between the egg mayo or the roasted veg foccacia.
Katherine, London, UK
Religion in itself does not start wars. What does start them is the use of religion to generate the feeling of necessity and the will to fight. The wars of the West are now about oil, food, and domination and usually fought on the business table. Religion is not required in the equation.
Pat, Ilford, UK
What pessimists here, they don't understand human nature. That's the way it's always been and always will be.
Tom E, Dallas, USA
We're all only too well aware of the causes of war - religion, race and ignorance for a start - and we only have to look at television and other media to get eye-witness accounts from every conceivable angle. It would be more useful to track people in regions where differences have been resolved without violent conflict. I'm thinking of places such as South Africa, East-West Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, etc where changes in recent history have occurred without resorting to war.
JM, Lyne Meads, UK
I would be interested to see how many wars have been started as a result of religious beliefs versus the amount of wars that have been averted or stopped by religious intervention.
Brian, Edinburgh Scotland
Reply to Brian: Edinburgh. I think you will find that no religious doctrine anywhere actually preaches war, death or destruction. As always these conditions are caused by humans who generally have immoral and ulterior motives.
It keeps the arms industry in business. That's the important thing.
If the programme gives an accurate reflection of the situations then I welcome it. However if it is just another Western propaganda machine influenced program glorifying war then I won't be watching it.
This reveals the turmoil and hatred we humans have for each other. We have a long way to go before we are truly civilised and can live in harmony with each other.
Akshay Misra, Newcastle, UK/ Dubai, UAE