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I Am an American Soldier documentary

AmericanFlag.jpgThere's not a shortage of news reports from the Iraq war, but there's a shortage of strong documentaries on the people and the reality of the situations there. A film called I Am an American Soldier: One Year in Iraq with the 101st Airborne will look at the real people who are over there fighting in the American Army, and through a series of interviews what they really believe.

The film follows soldiers from the elite 101st Airborne Division for over a year, from the time when they begin to get ready to leave the US, through their deployment in Iraq, and then their return home. Perhaps one of the most closest looks at the people behind the soldiers uniform and what they have to do during times of war.

From Yahoo News comes the story of the film which the Director John Laurence has created from following the troops for such a long time.

It follows their training in the US, hearing motivational speeches from their officers saying such things as "it's time to go hunting" while brandishing flags that were once flying at the World Trade Center buildings, through their actual experiences of real fighting, and their return from either end of duty, maiming or death.

Many of the soldiers are initially gung-ho about their prospects: "We're gonna go kill people, that's awesome," one enthuses. But it isn't long before a more realistic sense of weariness and dread sinks one...

...Their commentaries are often harrowing to listen to, like the accounts of several soldiers who were trapped inside a Humvee that caught fire after being hit by an IED.

However what concerns me is after all this the report goes on to say that it's ultimately their sheer bravery that outweighs nearly every other aspect of the film as it focuses on the part of the film where a soldier is recovering from having his leg amputed saying that he's got another one.

What I hope is that this is the weighted view of the American writer, and what we actually see is a much more balanced view of the stories. The hopelessly over hyped and negative aspects of the training, the terrible lives they lead while over there and the horrendous decisions they face, the impact they have on others and the impact the war has on them, not the gung ho American spirit will prevail sense.





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Comments

For a fantastic doc on what REALLY happens in Iraq, check out a film called "The War Tapes." A bunch of US soldiers are given video cameras and told to just shoot whatever they want for a year while in country. Of course it's edited down, but it's a great doc that is about as unbiassed as you can get and totally from the soldiers' points of view.

Cheers.

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