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Tribeca Film Festival winner, Iraq soldier's eye-view, opens in Manhattan

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-02-06 08:53 AM
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Tribeca Film Festival winner, Iraq soldier's eye-view, opens in Manhattan
'The War Tapes' Provides a Soldier's-Eye View of the Days Over There
By A. O. SCOTT
Published: June 2, 2006


(SenArt Films/Scranton/Lacy Films)
This scene from "The War Tapes" was filmed through binoculars. To make the movie, three soldiers were given small video cameras to take to Iraq.

"The War Tapes," winner of the prize for best documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival last month, proceeds from a simple, powerful idea. The filmmakers gave small digital video cameras to three members of the New Hampshire Army National Guard shortly before they were deployed to Iraq in early 2004, and invited them to record their experiences over there.

The film that the men shot, supplemented by home-front interviews and images captured by other soldiers, has been edited into a moving, complicated movie that illuminates, with heartbreaking clarity, some of the human actuality of this long, confusing war.

Like Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein's "Gunner Palace," released last year, and James Longley's "Iraq in Fragments," shown at Sundance in January, "The War Tapes" declines to argue a position, preferring to concentrate on the fine grain of daily life in combat. Whatever your opinion of the war and however it has changed over the years this movie is sure to challenge your thinking and disturb your composure. It provides no reassurance, no euphemism, no closure. Given the subject and the circumstances, how could it?

By the end of "The War Tapes," which was directed by Deborah Scranton, you feel remarkably close to the three guardsmen, who represent themselves with a candor occasionally checked by flinty New England reticence. Specialist Mike Moriarty, at 34 the oldest of them, describes himself as a super-patriot and says he was eager to go to Iraq to exact some payback for the 9/11 attacks. By the time he returns home to his wife, two young children and a blue-collar job, his views have changed a little. While his support for the war has not wavered, he notes that he hated every minute he spent in Iraq and would not go back "if they paid me half a million dollars."...

http://movies2.nytimes.com/2006/06/02/movies/02tape.htm...
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