Straight from the front lines in Iraq, THE WAR TAPES is the first war movie filmed by soldiers themselves. These soldiers bypassed Pentagon supervised media to share their experience like never before. Funnier, spicier, and more gut wrenching than news reports, this is Operation Iraqi Freedom as filmed by Sergeant Steve Pink, Sergeant Zack Bazzi and Specialist Mike Moriarty. Steve is a wisecracking carpenter who aspires to be a writer. Zack is a Lebanese-American university student who loves to travel and is fluent in Arabic. Mike is a father who seeks honor and redemption. Each leaves a woman behind - a girlfriend, a mother and a wife. Through their candid footage, these men open their hearts and take us on an unforgettable journey, capturing camaraderie and humor along with the brutal and terrifying experiences they face. These soldiers got the story that 2,700 embedded reporters never could. Written by
THE WAR TAPES is one of the finest films to come out of Operation Iraqi Freedom. What sets this film apart is that it is the first war movie filmed by soldiers themselves. Sergeant Steve Pink, a college English major before joining The National Guard, and several of his buddies filmed their experiences in the spring of 2004. The arc of the film encompasses the full range of their story; Training, Deployment, Combat, and finally, The Homecoming. Condensing hundreds of hours of unhampered footage, Director Deborah Scranton, and Producer/Editor Steve James (HOOP DREAMS) create ninety-seven minutes of enthralling Film Verite. This is far superior to the weak, and usually partisan, 'embedded' approach to this war. The soldiers very convincingly expound on the wide variety of their political opinions and their differences on the enforcement of our country's foreign policy. One of the men tells of the pervasive influence of Houston, Texas based Halliburton Corporation which operates seemingly without oversight. He says, "Everybody stands to make money the longer that we are there". He goes on to depict and detail a few of these limitless cost over-runs. Could this be one factor in our slow departure from Iraqi? After watching this section of the film it caused me to see, "Support The Troops", in a less than noble light. However, you come away from THE WAR TAPES not with a new vision of how America's geopolitical policy is formed, but rather how this endeavor changed the men who strove to establish it.
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