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Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience (2007)

A unique documentary about troops' experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, based on writings by soldiers, Marines, and air men. Some writings were published in the New Yorker in summer 2006. A... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story "Men in Black"), (story "Camp Muckamungus") | 7 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Sharon D. Allen ...
Herself
...
Voice 'Aftermath'
Colby Buzzell ...
Himself / Writer
Richard Currey ...
Himself
...
Taking Chance (voice)
...
Road Work (voice)
Paul Fussell ...
Himself
...
'Distant Thunder' (voice)
Edward Parker Gyokeres ...
Himself
Joe Haldeman ...
Himself
Sangjoon Han ...
Himself
...
Himself / Writer
...
Voice 'Men in Black, ' 'Aftermath' (voice)
Yusef Komunyakaa ...
Himself
...
Camp Muckamungus (voice)
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Storyline

A unique documentary about troops' experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, based on writings by soldiers, Marines, and air men. Some writings were published in the New Yorker in summer 2006. A larger assortment was published as a book by Random House last September. The film drew upon the submissions by soldiers for the book. It's a remarkable portrait of troops at war - the complexities, doubts, and fears - written with honesty. The 81-minute version of the film (which will be in theatres) includes 11 pieces of writing, with different visual strategies, along with interviews with the writers, and with more established American writers who are also veterans. In the latter group are Tim O'Brien, Yusef Komunyakaa, Tobias Wolff, Joe Haldeman, James Salter, Anthony Swofford, Richard Currey, and Paul Fussell. The visual approaches range from poet Brian Turner reading directly to camera, to archival footage, to an animated "graphic novel," to a still photo sequence shot by photographer Antonin... Written by Adam Hyman, co-producer

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 February 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Epiheirisi gyrismos  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (HDCAM)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Remade as Taking Chance (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Incredible Documentary
29 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I think I've been socially hardened by documentaries that don't show all sides of a story, or instill the documentary-makers' opinions or images (see SICKO) in place of what should be being told.

So it is with a heavy sigh of relief that I wholeheartedly recommend this Academy Award nominated documentary, OPERATION HOMECOMING: WRITING THE WARTIME EXPERIENCE.

First let's look at why this film is so successful. It's fresh. Most war writings are done by established or well-groomed writers, giving them decent syntax, etc., but lacking that up-close and personal process that goes along with firing weapons and being fired at during war. And this is where Operation Homecoming succeeds. The writings are all firsthand accountings from soldiers who've walked the walk and talked the talk.

Secondly is the unique filming. Each segment contains a different milieu and a different style of filming. From animation to quick-flash photography of those that've given their lives, the stories are told in a highly interesting fashion that keeps the viewer very interested.

Thirdly is the internal conflict that so easily comes across. From the beginning of the film when soldiers discuss their upbringing from childhood and being told killing is wrong, to being thrown into a situation where you're trained to kill for "God and Country," the film watcher understands the conundrum these men and women are put into.

The final successful element is the men and women themselves and how they deal with tough situations. There's never the "Why am I here" question asked. They know why they're there. They don't care about policy or partisan politics or money or oil. They care about the guy to their left and right who's protecting their backside during a fire-fight.

Each 'chapter' (if you will) contains a title and the story of a soldier. From the grunts on the ground, to the medic flying the injured to Germany, to the honor guard who sees the dead to their final resting place, Operation Homecoming is truly a unique gem in the documentary genre.


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