Release Date: June 2nd, 2006 (Angelika Film Center) by SenArt Films.
Directed by Deborah Scranton.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about the life of American soldiers in Iraq.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Throughout The War Tapes, three U.S. soldiers, Mike Moriarty, Zack Bazzi, and Steve Pink, film their daily experiences while stationed in Iraq. The soldiers show the brutal horrors of the war in Iraq by bringing viewers directly into their own lives and by giving their own personal accounts. What makes this documentary so engaging is precisely how personal and raw the footage feels without cutting any corner—this is how war looks, sounds and feels. Unless you were actually there, it wouldn’t be possible to relate to these soldiers, but this is the closest you’ll get to what it’s like for these soldiers. Moreover, The War Tapes never gets too preachy about the anti-war sentiments nor does it point the finger at George W. Bush, which has been done too many times in past documentary. Director Deborah Scranton wisely balances the footage in Iraq with footage of the soldiers’ family as they wait for their arrival which creates a broader, livelier picture. Also, it allows you to care about the soldiers as true human beings—not just mere pawns in a war.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: In the second, deeply moving half of the film, the soldiers’ parents get interviewed and share their feelings about how frustrated they feel. In one scene, a mother admits that she can’t go to sleep without wondering where her son is and what he’s doing at that very moment. However, the greatest challenge for both the parents and the soldiers is to bring their life back to normal—or as normal as possible—when they finally return home. One thing is for sure: the life of the soldiers will never be the same after they watched the horrors of war. Their painful memories will scar their psyche forever.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Powerful! Deeply moving and engrossing. A must-see! RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "W" Menu