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James Gandolfini died a few days ago, and so I've decided to watch a number of his movies. He is best known as Tony Soprano, but one of his most important works is the documentary "Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq". The documentary features Gandolfini interviewing Iraq War amputees. There are some VERY graphic scenes of people's injuries. Gandolfini keeps himself in the background and lets the interviewees stay the main subject to emphasize their terrifying experiences, occasionally including footage shot by insurgents. The whole thing amounts to a very good look at the disaster that was that war. Admittedly, not even through watching this documentary will one ever be able to get a true sense of what it was like in Iraq, but it is still a warning about starting a war that we never should have started. I highly recommend it.
A deeply moving film showing what happens to amputees, to the men and women who survive the many roadside bombs in the Iraq War after the TV news reports finish their 30 second stories. Required viewing for everyone as it doesn't take sides but asks in every scene and interview - was this all worth it? Is there an official explanation that's plausible, understandable? The bravery of these men and women is unbelievable. One amputee soldier said she had a hard life growing up and joined the military "to stay out of trouble." It made me a little sick to watch - some very raw and honest footage - but it could have been a lot longer, with more opinions and stories, and all the better for it. Still, this should be shown everywhere, in every high school, every living room, in every office on Capitol Hill.
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