Must See Documentary: The War Tapes
The War Tapes, a documentary that shows the Iraq war thorugh the eyes of soldiers, opens today in selected cities. I saw it a few nights ago and highly recommend it. The filmmakers gave cameras to five soldiers from the New Hampshire National Guard and were lucky enough to receive 1,100 hours of footage from three men with very different opinions and backgrounds. Because soldiers, not journalists, were interviewing their fellow soldiers, the footage is very real and very raw. It'll make you realize just how disconnected the majority of Americans are from the reality on the ground:
"I think if we can get people in to see the film, I think it's going to change the way people see the war," said Staff Sgt. Zack Bazzi, a soldier in the film, in a telephone interview from Washington. "There's a huge gap between the people who are fighting this war and the people who are at home. I think this will be eye-opening for people who have been watching the war at home on TV. It's not the same.As the San Francisco Chronicle points out, this film can't be tagged as having a liberal or conservative bent. In fact, the filmmakers said they tried to steer clear of bringing their political perspective to the film:
"Part of the reason is the media. A reporter can be with us, use all the lingo, try to be our buddy," Bazzi continued. "But still, we look at them and say, 'You're the media.'"
"This isn't a Michael Moore film, and it isn't a recruiting film," says Ward Carroll, editor of Military.com and a 20-year Navy veteran who saw the film. "How can you quarrel with it? It shows the good and the bad. It's sincere."The pro-war talking heads who've never been to Iraq (outside the Green Zone) or served in the military should be required to see this documentary. I'd say the same for anti-war talking heads who've never been, but those who get national exposure in the traditional media are few and far between.
The film shows how partisan politics gets fuzzy in foxholes: Soldiers who voted Republican complain about guarding trucks for Halliburton Co., and a Democratic-voting soldier who reads the Nation re-enlists.
The film opens today in Berkeley, CA, Boston, MA, Concord, NY, San Francisco and Washington, DC.